Indiana recently passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the state is already seeing some unintended consequences. One of those is The First Church of Cannabis. Christian rock band Creed’s “Higher” comes to mind…
After the act was passed, there was quite an uproar as it essentially gave business owners the right to refuse service based on race, gender or sexual orientation. Indiana governor Mike Pence has since said that it is a priority to make amendments to the act clarifying that it does not, in fact, allow business owners to refuse service based on those criteria. I’m guessing he hasn’t heard about the Church of Cannabis, because he may want to make it a high priority to clarify that weed is still illegal in the state. However, now the state needs a “compelling interest” to limit religious freedom. Indiana lawyer Abdul-Hakim Shabazz said that if you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you’re not likely to face consequences. Hopefully, for the church’s sake, the government doesn’t try to weed out those exploiting the RFRA.
So, yeah, this dude Bill Levin realized, with his newly restored religious freedom, he could get high legally (sorta). Thus began The First Church of Cannabis. It was approved by the Indiana Secretary of State. It’s real. It’s a thing. If I told you all the details without proof, I don’t think you’d believe me. Here’s a Facebook post from the Grand Poohba Levin himself:
Going out on a limb here, but I think these rules were decided while Bill was a little baked. Cannataerians (or Cannabiterians, as noted on the church’s Facebook) should first of all “Not be an asshole.” Looks like it rules out most of our readers. Also, see #8 about trolling on the internet. Donations of $4.20 a month. Everything about this…
I have some questions though. I understand the COC is trying to lease a building that they can meet in, but will these donations also go to “religious supplies” (I’m talking about weed, you guys), or will members have to bring their own Devil’s Lettuce to church? (Ha, church and the devil. Jokes!)
You’re probably wondering, “How can I help support this church even if I don’t live in Indiana?” There’s a GoFundMe. That’s how. The funds are coming in at a blazing speed through the online joint effort as they’ve potted over $3k in 3 days. The campaign’s goal is to get a lease for a building until they can break ground on the Hemp Temple, or as I will refer to it, the Hemple.
Bill Levin, you are changing the world. This has to be a total pipe dream coming to life for you. I’ll be blunt, though: many people will debate on whether or not your intention are dubious, but at least you’re doing something you’re passionate about, not just sitting on your ass and getting high. Amen. .