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Sales of all sacraments will cease during the Sabbath from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday evening.
August 3, 2007 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Temple 420 is in trouble. Founded by Craig X. Rubin, (marijuana technical consultant for HBO's "Weeds"), the church gives marijuana to members (in exchange for a suggested donation). Memberships are available for $100 per year. After a poisoning investigation last fall, the LAPD investigated and subsequently raided the church. A judge has ruled that Rubin is not protected under federal law, since he faces state charges.
posted by dubold (27 comments total)

 
Well, it's not like the federal government is supportive of religious marijuana use, so I'm not sure what federal law has to do with it. If they are making a constitutional argument, then it would apply to state law as well as federal law.
posted by delmoi at 9:26 AM on August 3, 2007


Wow, someone really tried this? And it worked (for a time)? Millions of middle-school strict constructionist theorists rejoice!
posted by DU at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


would jesus pay $60/eighth? i wouldn't.
posted by bruce at 9:34 AM on August 3, 2007


Wow, someone really tried this? And it worked (for a time)? Millions of middle-school strict constructionist theorists rejoice!

Seriously, the real story isn't that he's finally getting busted, but that he managed to get away with it at all!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2007


... so I'm not sure what federal law has to do with it.

I'm assuming he's talking about the First Amendment, but the article is woefully deficient.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2007


would jesus pay $60/eighth? i wouldn't.

If that is some sticky dank shit, maybe He would.
posted by chlorus at 9:47 AM on August 3, 2007


Looks like he's headed for his own ticky-tacky tiny box on the state pen hillside.
posted by mds35 at 9:49 AM on August 3, 2007


Their FAQ is so very helpful:


Q: How can we do this? Is this for real? Who is CraigX?

A: Well, you are on the World Wide Web right now, so you can check these facts for yourself.

posted by mds35 at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2007


I didn't see anything about the temple giving weed to the members. I think they just get a membership card to present to the police officers who beat them up and judge who laugh at their feeble attempts at a defense.
posted by DU at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2007


would jesus pay $60/eighth?

no, he'd just turn wattles into weed
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 AM on August 3, 2007


Well, it's not like the federal government is supportive of religious marijuana use, so I'm not sure what federal law has to do with it.

Isn't peyote a federally-regulated religious sacrament? I don't disagree with the first observation, just questioning why the precedent is not applicable here — can state law supercede the federal peyote regulations?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 AM on August 3, 2007


Just to be nit-picky... Weeds is broadcasted on Showtime, not HBO.
posted by ijoyner at 10:09 AM on August 3, 2007


DU, the reference to Temple 420 giving weed to members is here.

"Rubin, however, continues to distribute marijuana six days a week to the temple’s members - there are more than 400 who have paid the initiation and annual dues - for a “requested donation” of $60 for an eighth of an ounce."


Blazecock Pileon, yes, that is the federal law Rubin is attempting to reference.
posted by dubold at 10:13 AM on August 3, 2007


ijoyner, you're right. Apologies; these links gave me short term memory loss.
posted by dubold at 10:15 AM on August 3, 2007


previously
wikipedia on RFRA
a recent case reinforcing RFRA as relates to drug enforcement

Ah, this is what I was looking for.
posted by nervousfritz at 10:23 AM on August 3, 2007


Tangentially related, I was reading this article on DEA raids of medical marijuana growers in Oregon, one of whom used to be a detective in Portland. In that case, it's the federal government against the state it seems.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:51 AM on August 3, 2007


On the one hand, dodges like this are stupid, whether "Universal Life Church," or "Temple 420." On the other hand, the laws they seek to circumvent are just as stupid, and more harmful.

Still, it encourages a lot of wishy-washy theology.
posted by klangklangston at 12:06 PM on August 3, 2007


erm, Showtime's "Weeds"
posted by hypersloth at 12:33 PM on August 3, 2007


Still, it encourages a lot of wishy-washy theology.

As opposed to all the wishy-washy theology we encourage with every other tax-free, go-ahead-and-discriminate special treatment bone we throw the church...
posted by vorfeed at 12:36 PM on August 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


klangklangston writes "Still, it encourages a lot of wishy-washy theology."

How so? I am not claiming theirs is a valid legal defense, but I'm not sure how this encourages "wishy-washy theology" any more than the Universal Life Church, or, heck, the Moonies.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:39 PM on August 3, 2007


Oh, so marijuana isn't allowed to be a religious sacrament, but Scientology is a church.

Can we get an even playing field here?
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 12:45 PM on August 3, 2007


Well, since my statement about wishy-washy theology included the Universal Life Church, what distinguishes them from the Moonies is that they expand spirituality and belief to be some all-encompassing mishmash that basically allows people to do whatever they were doing before, only under a specious aegis of religion. You become a Universal Life Church minister because you'd like to marry people and don't feel like being assed to go through the actual doctrinal requirements of a real religion. Here, you join because you'd like a fig-leaf of legality around your pot smoking.

Say what you will about the Moonies or Mormons or Santaria, but there's at least a belief system foremost, even if it's repugnant or stupid.
posted by klangklangston at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2007


Oh, and I don't doubt that this will fail to survive legal scrutiny— religions based on Supreme Court decisions have that post facto feel that actual institutions tend to feel annoyed with.
posted by klangklangston at 12:55 PM on August 3, 2007


klangklangston writes "Well, since my statement about wishy-washy theology included the Universal Life Church, what distinguishes them from the Moonies is that they expand spirituality and belief to be some all-encompassing mishmash that basically allows people to do whatever they were doing before, only under a specious aegis of religion."

Hey, sounds like the Catholic Church!

"Say what you will about the Moonies or Mormons or Santaria, but there's at least a belief system foremost, even if it's repugnant or stupid."

So, all that really qualifies religion is dogma?

I'd rather spend time with a wishy-washy Universalist than a cultist Moonie or Scientologist. If that's not good enough for theology, so much the better.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:15 PM on August 3, 2007


Oh, and I don't doubt that this will fail to survive legal scrutiny— religions based on Supreme Court decisions have that post facto feel that actual institutions tend to feel annoyed with.

"post facto"? It's hard to think of many human behaviors less post facto than the use of marijuana as a religious sacrament. Hint: it not only precedes the "actual institution" that's going to be passing judgment on its legality, it even precedes the organized religions you're comparing it to. There's an excellent book on the subject, if you're interested. Some of the writing is a bit in the Bronner's Soap tradition, but all claims are well-researched and well-documented.
posted by vorfeed at 4:21 PM on August 3, 2007


Oh, bullshit. Temply 420 is an obvious attempt at an end-run around US law and it shows.

To Krinklyfig— You know, you don't actually have to have a religion to do whatever you want. Without a specific and defensible dogma (which Universalists do have), why bother joining? Aside from the "Hey, I kinda like drugs" bit?

"Dude, I'm totally in the Church of Following Blues Traveller in my Van!"

Maybe this is because I am friends with someone who's going to grad school for a theology degree, but all this hand-waiving bullshit is fundamentally dishonest, and completely separate from the sidelong attempts at legalizing pot use.

If pot was such an important sacrament, they wouldn't have to make up a church to justify it.
posted by klangklangston at 4:31 PM on August 3, 2007


Oh, bullshit. Temply 420 is an obvious attempt at an end-run around US law and it shows. [...] If pot was such an important sacrament, they wouldn't have to make up a church to justify it.

Come on, what "end-run around US law"? There are millions of people making an "end-run" around this particular law, merely by keeping a low profile. I rather doubt that getting weed and not going to jail for it is this guy's primary motivation for making a public, high-profile church out of smoking it.

If anything, this is an attempt at changing the law, not avoiding it... and without people like this who are willing to push the limits and create test cases, we'd not even have the few religious exceptions to the drug laws that exist.
posted by vorfeed at 4:42 PM on August 3, 2007


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