NewsLocal News / April 2, 2015

Cannabis Church Tests Limits Of RFRA

Indianapolis man gets approval for the First Church of Cannabis. First Church of Cannabis, Bill Levin, Religious Freedom Restoration Act2015-04-02T00:00:00-04:00
Cannabis Church Tests Limits Of RFRA

stock photo

Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law has lighted up plans for a new church in Indianapolis. 

The Secretary of State’s office last week approved Bill Levin’s church, the First Church of Cannabis, as a “religious corporation.” Levin says he filed the paperwork as a direct challenge to Indiana’s “religious freedom” legislation.

"This is a religion about celebrating life," says Levin. "It's based on love, equal love for everybody."

The doctrine of the First Church of Cannabis lists marijuana as a sacrament with healing and uniting powers. But because marijuana is illegal in Indiana – both for medicinal and recreational use – it could present a test case for the law.

Under that law, the state is prevented from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless it can prove that it has a compelling interest to do so, and is doing so in the least restrictive way.

Levin, a longtime advocate for reforming Indiana’s marijuana laws, says the church will not purchase, distribute or supply illegal substances. But parishioners, who are called cannabetaerians, will be encouraged to partake.    

 

 

Related News

Indianapolis Among Top 20 Candidates For Amazon’s HQ2
IndyCar Unveils 2018 Race Car At Auto Show In Detroit
State Adopts Coding Program For Prisoners