Late last month, a church in Indiana that promotes marijuana smoking and culture was given tax-exempt status as a religious organization. The state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act was established to allow for religious freedom in the state and has given way to alternative styles of churches to flourish.
The Washington Times reported earlier this week on First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis and its founder, Bill Levin. Because of its status, donors to the church will be able to write off the financial contributions on their taxes. The purpose of Levin’s church is to promote the use and benefits of marijuana, although the plant is illegal in Indiana.
More from the Times:
So far, more than 600 members have paid amounts ranging from $4.20 to $1,000 to join the church, Mr. Levin said. Fundraising is being conducted partly on gofundme.com, where the church has raised over $10,800.
The church’s first service is scheduled for July 1 — the day the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.
The recreational and medicinal consumption of marijuana is still illegal in Indiana, posing an issue to members of the church, or “Cannabiterians,” who believe in using the drug on a daily basis as a sacrament. Mr. Levin said he started the church to test the application of the new law that bans government from interfering with the exercise of religion, CNHI reported.
The church will grow hemp but not buy or sell marijuana and it appears there’s nothing but good vibes and positive energy radiating from its online hubs at Facebook and the aforementioned GoFundMe page. In fact, curious folks can learn about the First Church of Cannabis in Indiana doctrine here.