INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, Bill Levin “Grand Poobah of the First Church of Cannabis” showed off his new joint on the south side of Indianapolis. On July 1, Levin and his flock will meet in the small church building for their first service – the same day that Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.
Levin says his church is sown from the seeds of that legislation. "Something beautiful came out of all that fertilizer, love is being noticed in Indiana after so much hate was given to us." preaches Levin.
Levin says the ceremony will be celebration of life and love complete with harmonica music, testimonials and a recitation of the “Deity Dozen” – the doctrine of the church that lists cannabis as a sacrament.
"And when we get to the 12th one, that’s when we realize that God loves us and we spark up," says Levin.
Levin’s church is a test case of sorts for RFRA. Indiana law prohibits both the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana, but Levin says he’s not worried about law enforcement or legal action.
The church already has over 700 members and received nonprofit status from the IRS last month. And Levin says he’s heard from people all over the world who want to start charter churches.