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Published On: Sun, Jul 5th, 2015

Indiana’s Church of Cannabis holds service without marijuana

Indiana’s Church of Cannabis made headlines this week after holding their service in their bizarre attempt to raise awareness and support for the legalization of marijuana. In fact, they are baiting opponents for a lawsuit, saying that “opposition to their pot worship is religious persecution.”

The First Church of Cannabis held their inaugural service the same day the religious freedom law took effect.

Church members didn’t light up any of their “holy sacrament” after a heavy police presence turned out, along with community members who disagree with the church’s beliefs.

Church leaders say they’ll fight the marijuana ban with an upcoming lawsuit to keep the church intact.

Bill Levin talking with the press“This is about the beautiful experience of life’s great adventure,” said Bill Levin, First Church of Cannabis founder. “Cannabis helps us celebrate it, but if the world is going to turn ugly on us and stop us through religious persecution, we’ll go through the courts and we’ll make it work.”

The gathering included Christian hymns, from the traditional “Amazing Grace” to a rendition of the marijuana smokers’ anthem, “Mary Jane.”

Calling themselves Cannaterians, the group calls for members to “tithe” $4.20 monthly, view pot as a religious sacrament and stand up for “religious freedom.”

The religious freedom law, which permits companies and individuals to defend themselves in legal proceedings by citing religious beliefs, has been attacked by opponents who argue that it could be used by those who want to discriminate against LGBT people. But the First Church of Cannabis hopes to turn that concern on its head, using the law to allow for legal marijuana use.

Despite the police pressure, there were no arrests before, during or after the service.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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