Indiana Judge Says No To Cannabis As Sacrament; First Church Of Cannabis Will Appeal

By Neal Smith, Chairman Indiana NORML

INDIANA: Marion County Superior Court Judge Lynch has ruled that the First Church of Cannabis may not use Cannabis as a sacrament, based on a false report issued by a federal agency. The Church maintains that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed the Indiana General Assembly in 2015, the Church has the right to use cannabis is a sacrament. The State of Indiana disagrees.

The State, led by Attorney General Curtis Hill, based their testimony on the lies and half-truths of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Task Force report on Cannabis. The vast majority of the report’s statements about Cannabis have been soundly refuted.  Yet, Judge Lynch fell for it. Anyone who has done even a modicum of research knows that Robert DuPont, long time federal government prohibitionist figurehead, has repeatedly been proven a liar.

Grand Poohbah Bill Levin

First Church of Cannabis Grand Poohbah Bill Levin

From Judge Lynch’s decision: “Numerous scientific studies have shown that marijuana use “causes impairment in every performance area that can reasonably be connected with safe driving of a vehicle, such as tracking, motor coordination, visual functions, and particularly complex tasks that require divided attention[.]” Ex. 15, DuPont Dec. at fl9. Unsurprisingly, then; marijuana “ranks second (26.9%), only to alcohol (30.6%), in a study on the presence of drugs in accidents involving seriously injured drivers.” EX. 15, DuPont Dec. at11 10.14.”

This point has been disproven.

Also from Lynch’s decision: “In addition, if RFRA affords an exception to the prohibition against marijuana possession, it would be unclear whether state law enforcement officers would be permitted to use the scent of marijuana or plants or paraphernalia in plain View as probable cause for a search warrant.” Ex. 13, Hobson Dec. at 117. Such indicators traditionally have been “obvious sources of probable cause[,]” but a religious exception to the marijuana laws could render them ‘questionable[.]’ Ex. 13, Hobson Dec. at fl 7.”

In other words, law enforcement would actually have to do a proper investigation rather than grabbing the “low-hanging fruit.”

AG Hill, an extreme prohibitionist, seems only content in putting forth any information that supports his views, whether accurate or not. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has also supported their tenuous position with the Rocky Mountain report. Indiana NORML has repeatedly pointed out the flaws in the report to no avail. It’s obvious they have no regards for truth in this matter. Does that make you wonder about their competency in other investigations?

Why would they go to this extent of lying and accepting lies as truth? Cannabis arrests bring in money to the system. Fines, probation fees, government grants, civil asset forfeiture and state kickbacks and contributions from private prison groups. Who needs civil liberties when there is money to be made?

The First Church of Cannabis will appeal the decision.

 

Whoops: Indiana’s Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Act Opens The Door For The First Church of Cannabis

INDIANA:  In a classic case of “unintended consequences,” the recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana may have opened the door for the establishment of the First Church of Cannabis in the Hoosier State.

While Governor Mike Pence (R) was holding a signing ceremony for the bill allowing businesses and individuals to deny services to gays on religious grounds or values, paperwork for the First Church of Cannabis Inc. was being filed with the Secretary of State’s office, reports RTV6.

Church founder Bill Levin announced on his Facebook page that the church’s registration has been approved, writing, “Status: Approved by Secretary of State of Indiana – “Congratulations your registration has been approved!” Now we begin to accomplish our goals of Love, Understanding, and Good Health.”

Levin is currently seeking $4.20 donations towards his non-profit church.

Marijuana-Infused Faith Challenges the Definition of Religion

HAWAII: Sixty-four-year old Roger Christie, a resident of Hawaii’s Big Island, although most recently of Cell 104 at Honolulu Federal Detention Center, is a Religious Science practitioner, a minister of the Universal Life Church, ordained in the Church of the Universe (in Canada), an official of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Hilo, Hawaii, and the founder of the Hawai’i Cannabis THC Ministry. [Read more…]

Marijuana-Infused Faith Challenges the Definition of Religion

HAWAII: Sixty-four-year old Roger Christie, a resident of Hawaii’s Big Island, although most recently of Cell 104 at Honolulu Federal Detention Center, is a Religious Science practitioner, a minister of the Universal Life Church, ordained in the Church of the Universe (in Canada), an official of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Hilo, Hawaii, and the founder of the Hawai’i Cannabis THC Ministry. [Read more…]