Indiana’s Controversial Law Births Cannabis Church

By now, many people in the U.S. have heard about the heinously discriminatory and appropriately controversial Religious Free Restoration Act (RFRA) that’s already had financial and social backlash for the state. Performers and entertainers have cancelled shows, companies have withdrawn their business and other states have openly condemned the backwards law in support of the LGBT community in Indiana.

If nothing else, there has been one group that has actually found one single pleasant thing about the act Governor Mike Pence signed and they’ve decided to take the language of the law into their own hands by starting The First Church of Cannabis.

Bill Levin is the man behind the group who filed paperwork immediately following the RFRA’s passing. According to reports, the church is all about extending love and compassion to all and will grow hemp. The main sacrament is cannabis and even though the group has no plans to sale or purchase it, Levin is completely and entirely open to members consuming the plant as part of their practice.

“If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them,” Levin said. “This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called ‘cannataerians.’”

While Governor Pence may have been trying to find legal ways to condone and allow the hatred of baseless discrimination, he also unknowingly opened the doors for groups to come forward proclaiming their right to freely express their religious acts in whatever way their view most pious. For this reason, The First Church of Cannabis will likely be a very real and hilariously legal institution in real life, not just on paper and in the news.

Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz commented on the situation, noting that the state would have a hard time overturning the organization.

“You see, if I would argue that under RFRA, as long as you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you got a pretty good shot of getting off scott-free,” he wrote. “Remember, under RFRA, the state has to articulate a compelling interest in preventing you from smoking pot. I argue they can’t.”

Levin is adamant that there’s more to the church than just smoking weed.

“I’m very faith-driven, I’m very spiritual and I’m filled with love,” he said. “I find that most religions are misled into gross perversions of what they are meant to be. This path has led me to lead a religion that people in today’s world can relate to it. We don’t have any guilt doctrine built in. We don’t have any sin built in.”

Would you attend The First Church of Cannabis? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

K. Astre is a California writer with a global appetite for art, music and culture. She fuels her creativity with tea, yoga, meditation and, of course, cannabis.

13 Comments

  1. Kathleen Pfeiffer

    April 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I live in Michigan and believe that God gave us this wonderful plant to use for illnesses and prevention of illnesses and I would go to this church, I know God is frowning in CPS for taking my 3 wonderful children from me because my straight A sports playing teenage daughter was consuming marijuana

  2. noah

    April 4, 2015 at 11:40 am

    yes i would because i smoke weed and i go to church but i dont see why they didnt do this before because weed is talked about in the bible

  3. candice

    April 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I 100% agree. Im more spiritual than id say religious and would absolutely love to attend a church like described here.

  4. Eddie

    April 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    We need more churches like this … but we really need a church that advocates for ALL entheogens. Gov. Pence needs more than cannabis, e.g. enough peyote to get rid of that black-hearted mean streak!

  5. Tiffany Smith

    April 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    O ya I would

    • Neville Moore

      April 5, 2015 at 3:14 am

      Yes,to GOD and weed.

  6. michiko Osborn

    April 3, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Yes I would it could help me understand the book a little better. And it would clear my head of all confusion.

  7. Bryan

    April 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Yes if they opened one in Washington st. Spokane…. it always wondered say I use cannabis for myself in helping me meditate better aka part of my religious practice and my job doesn’t alow it can’t I technical get away with it since it’s religious practice

  8. Aaron

    April 3, 2015 at 11:35 am

    i am a Hoosier, so yes. I probably would.

  9. brandi

    April 3, 2015 at 10:52 am

    That is a wonderful way to God. I have used marijuana in my worship for years now!

  10. Moe O.

    April 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

    i would definitely be there ^.^ ….im a Cannabiterian.

  11. Chino

    April 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I would like to the first church of cannabis

  12. Rich D.

    April 3, 2015 at 7:30 am

    I would attend for the refreshments! And I love all the loving.

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