First Church of Cannabis Files Suit

INDIANA:The First Church of Cannabis is going to court for the right to use marijuana as part of its sacrament under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration law.

The suit, filed in Marion County Court, is asking for an injunction against the state and city of Indianapolis to prohibit members of TFCC from being prosecuted for using marijuana as part of their sacrament.

Attorney Mark Small says that under RFRA, the state’s marijuana law put an undue burden on his clients when it comes to practicing their faith and he adds the government does not have a compelling interest in limiting their religious liberty.

You can hear Small’s comments in the Leon-Tailored Audio above, as well as TFCC founder, Bill Levin.  It runs under 10 minutes.

 

Meet The Jewish Grand Poobah Of The First Church Of Cannabis

INDIANA: Athough he grew up at the Reform-affiliated Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Bill Levin recently founded a church. And not just any church — the First Church of Cannabis, for which Levin will serve as the Minister of Love.

Sound like a joke? Not to Levin, although he tends to refer to himself in church dealings as the Grand Poobah. And apparently it’s no joke as well to government bureaucracy: the church was approved by Indiana’s secretary of state Connie Lawson in March and recognized last week by the IRS as a tax-exempt religious organization.

The Times of Israel caught Levin in a phone conversation in his new premises on the south side of Indianapolis. The area, known for tattoo parlors and head shops, is home to a 150-seat sanctuary that has been used as a church for the past several decades.

 

Police Fine Church Member Who Brought Marijuana To Park

RHODE ISLAND:  Three members of a church that uses marijuana in its ceremonies have been ticketed for possessing a controlled substance at Roger Williams National Memorial.

Police moved in Tuesday and issued $100 citations after members of the West Greenwich-based Healing Church lit a glass pipe they referred to as a chalice.

Anne Armstrong, deaconess of church, says they believe the police action was akin to “storm troopers bursting into a Catholic church while they were distributing Holy Communion.”

Church members have been praying at the memorial this week and have received a permit to hold a service there on Saturday.

Cannabis Sect Worshiping At Providence’s Roger Williams National Memorial

RHODE ISLAND:  Leaders of The Healing Church of West Greenwich, which uses marijuana for prayer and anointing, said they have been holding daily novenas since Thursday at the Roger Williams National Memorial and that they were questioned but not arrested Sunday by a park ranger and Providence police.

Anne Armstrong and Alan Gordon, who live at 99 Hudson Pond Rd., West Greenwich, where the church meets, said they plan to continue the novenas until a service at the federal property at 8 p.m. Saturday, for which they  have a permit from the National Park Service to allow a gathering of up to 100 people.

Cannabis, which they consider “sacred matter,” is part of prayer.

Armstrong said the hour-long novenas, starting at 5:20 p.m. on weekdays, are being held for the nine days before Pentecost, which for most Christians falls on May 24 this year. They have been meeting at the well to a spring that Roger Williams and the first European settlers in Providence used, which has religious significance for Armstrong.