Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis Has a Home
The First Church of Cannabis has found a joint it can call its own. Church founder Bill Levin said he has bought a church building at 3400 S. Rural St. and will announce the move at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the site.
“It is small and humble facility with love through out every brick,” he wrote on his Facebook page.” We are HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!”
Levin, the church’s self-appointed “minister of love,” said the Eastside building would hold 150 to 200 worshippers. The church has two rows of pews 10 deep, office space, a kitchen and a large basement for community meetings. The church recently received a tax designation as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization from the Internal Revenue Service, meaning donors can deduct money sent to the church on their federal tax returns and the church also would be eligible for a property tax exemption in Indiana.
The Cannabis Church is looking for volunteers to paint and provide maintenance at the building. Levin also is seeking a webmaster and plans to hold the church’s first ceremony on July 1, the day the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act becomes law. Levin formed the church as a means to test RFRA, which offers protections from the government infringing on religious practices. At the first service, Levin said his members will follow blessings by smoking marijuana in what he describes as a religious practice. RFRA drew national attention because critics claimed it was a thinly disguised tool to allow business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples for religious reasons.