First Church of Cannabis
The First Church of Cannabis was founded by 60 year old BIll Levin on March 6, 2015. Mr Levin attended the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation as a child but since then states that he is “not pretentious enough to try and define God”.
Known as a Cannabis activist, it is safe to say that he intended to pursue his dream of cannabis legalization in the state of Indiana by challenging the law in any way possible. Taking advantage of the loopholes created by the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) Mr Levin is trying to state that smoking pot is their religious duty.
The First Church of Cannabis is based in Indianapolis USA from where Mr. Levin conducts it’s daily affairs as self appointed “Grand Poohbah”. He remarks that there is a need for a new religion that doesn’t offer “guilt and sin” thus offering “no judgment whatsoever”. The FCC is only based on love compassion and health – through the smoking of cannabis. Sounds very hippie, doesn’t it?
The FCC has a straight forward process of joining. You fill out a form and provide a minimum yearly donation of $4.20 / month. The church is registered as a cult with the IRS thus it is exempted of tax. Mr. Levin states that the church was granted exemption in under 30-days.
Do you want to become a bishop? Well in this case keep in mind that the church only has Poohbahs and Ministers. The self appointed “Grand Poohbah” mentions that the term comes from the TV series “The Flinstones” where it represents the highest elected position in “The Loyal Order of the Water Buffaloes”. Pretty kooky, right?
The Church will not have all the heavy doctrine that other religions have. Instead Mr Levin states his religion will be “a little more earthy than that”. Love, compassion and health are the basis for the 12 commandments written down by the “Grand Poohbah”. We need to help others and treat them as equal, but at the same time refrain from eating fast food and drinking coke. And all of this while consuming the “holly cannabis” which brings people closer to themselves and others. In a few words be kind, eat good food and smoke good weed. What else could you want?
Mr. Levin is a well known cannabis activist in a state where cannabis consumption is illegal. Also, as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is pretty much left for free interpretation, the “Grand Poohbah” obviously saw a way to take advantage of the loopholes. But will he succeed in his fight against the evil state?
The First Church of Cannabis already sued the state and city of Indianapolis on the grounds that the prohibition of weed is infringing on the churches religious belief. Is this the first test of the Religious Freedom Restoration act?
Legal practitioners state that the RFRA has been used to defend drug consumption but in established religions. In the case of the FCC, the state will most probably rule that the religion did not exist when the RFRA was put in place and that it is all about consuming drugs, thus rejecting the law suit.
Will the FCC make cannabis consumption legal during church ceremony ? Comment below.