8,895 and counting.
That’s roughly how many days Edwin Rubis has sat in prison for a non-violent cannabis offense. Despite his harsh sentencing, Edwin Rubis remains positive, hoping to seek a meaningful life outside of the prison walls that have held him for 24 years.
Weldon Angelos was convicted of a nonviolent cannabis offense and served 13 years of a 55-year sentence before being granted clemency in 2016. At the point of Weldon’s release, Edwin had served 18 years of his 40-year sentence. Since his release, Weldon has founded two nonprofits to support others incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis crimes: the Weldon Project and Mission Green. Their effort have secured clemency for many – and hopefully, soon, Edwin will be added to that list.
The Story of Edwin Rubis
Edwin Rubis was born in El Salvador and moved to Houston, TX at the age of 11. Throughout his late teens and twenties, Edwin struggled with addiction, leading to a DWI at the young age of 19. As a young man in his twenties, Edwin was married and a father to three young children. In efforts to do right and provide for his family, he worked as a mechanic and car salesman.
Despite his attempts to do right, his addictions won.
By 1995, Edwin was in debt to his drug dealers and needed a way to pay them back. Edwin began running cannabis flower from the border to Houston to settle his debt and did so by 1996.
In 1998, almost two years after settling his score, Edwin, his pregnant wife and 3-year-old child were forced to watch as Drug Enforcement Agents tore through their home searching for drugs, guns, and money.
A De Facto Life Sentence
The Rubis’ home was raided based on statements from other individuals who gave Edwin’s name in exchange for a plea bargain. Edwin was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana – even though the Drug Enforcement Agents found no evidence to suggest that the other arrested individuals were telling the truth.
The Feds wanted Edwin to give up others involved in the illicit cannabis space as a way for him to attain a plea bargain, but there was one small problem: Edwin didn’t know anyone to turn over. Under the advice of his court-appointed lawyer, Edwin chose to go to federal trial – the first federal trial of his lawyer. He felt he stood a chance, as there was no physical evidence to convict him.
Unbeknownst to Edwin, despite the lack of physical evidence, a trial by jury would not work in his favor.
Despite not finding any evidence of marijuana distribution, because Edwin could not name anyone connected to the drug trafficking being investigated. He was deemed “uncooperative” by the court, would not be allowed to take a plea deal, or plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or shorter sentence. He received a harsh sentence – 40 years in federal prison.
At age 29, the 40 years became a de facto life sentence, breaking him away from his wife and, at that point, three young children.
A Rehabilitated Man
Despite what has happened to Edwin, he has created a meaningful life behind prison bars by being a mentor to those around him. He has enrolled in every rehabilitation program available to him, as told to High Times, and takes what he has learned to teach others. Edwin has even earned a master’s degree in counseling and is on his way to his doctorate.
Prison leadership witnessed Edwin’s progress and advocated on his behalf – to no avail. Every appeal and compassionate release request made has been denied. But you can show Edwin you’re on his side.
Help Mission Green Fight for Edwin’s Clemency
The fight for clemency for individuals like Edwin is incredibly important. Loneliness and isolation are very real aspects of prison life and can lead to many suffering from mental or physical health issues; having a voice advocating on their behalf is support they may not see but will certainly feel.
Here are some ways you can help make an impact:
Donate to Mission Green
Donations to Mission Green help those suffering under outdated cannabis laws that are still incarcerated for non-violent cannabis offenses. The donations made to Mission Green help in two ways – clemency, and commissary.
- Clemency donations fuel the fight for those wrongfully incarcerated due to outdated cannabis laws. From campaigning for those incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis-related crimes, to organizing clemency events, to meetings with politicians, the donations fund every aspect of the necessary work to secure compassionate releases for all those affected by the unjust war on cannabis.
- Commissary is essentially the prison “grocery store.” As Weldon has said, “Prisons only feed you enough to keep you alive, not full.” Meeting the needs of those affected by the war on cannabis is a great way to show support.
Contact the White House
Pleading on the behalf of those who are incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes is a powerful way of showing support. The best way to do so is to contact the White House via email, phone, mail, or by using the contact form on their website. The contact form is the easiest and quickest way to ensure that they get your message and support.
When filling out the form, make sure to complete all required fields, including the last question, “What would you like to say?” Here, we suggest including information about how the war on drugs has adversely affected your life or the lives of people you know. Mission Green suggests adding that clemency for these individuals is not only just, but would be good for public safety and the economy.
Write to Edwin Rubis
Edwin is currently being held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega, Alabama, a medium-security prison. Let Edwin know that you support his compassionate release by writing him directly. To ensure he gets all letters sent his way, make sure to write in on plain, non-lined paper in blue or black ink.
EDWIN W RUBIS # 79282-079
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
TALLADEGA, AL 35160
Help Verano and Mission Green Reach Their Clemency Goals
Securing clemency for every non-violent cannabis offender is the top goal of Weldon Angelos, Mission Green, a goal we are honored to support – and you can, too.
Visit the Mission Green website to learn about how you can have an impact on cannabis clemency.