Indiana's First Church of Cannabis awarded non-profit status

Indiana's controversial law, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, has indirectly paved the way for the First Church of Cannabis.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Last, month the aforementioned church based in Indianapolis, won the right to light up and spread their gospel, because they were awarded non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service.

One may ask themselves, how was this possible?

Well, that would be a very legitimate question.

The First Church of Cannabis, is deemed a charity because, "donors can deduct gifts made to the church on federal tax returns and when the cannabis congregation finds a location, it will be eligible for a property tax exemption - even though neither medical nor recreational marijuana is legal in the state of Indiana."

The churches Facebook Page said: "What a GLORIOUS DAY it is folks... Absolutely BEAUTIFUL...HAPPY TUESDAY! Our NOT FOR PROFIT 501 C3 status came in today... WE ARE 100 % a LEGAL CHURCH... All say HALLELUJAH and SMILE REAL BIG!... We are OFFICIAL!"

"We don't want to poison people. We want to see them healthy. And cannabis is the healthiest plant on earth," church founder Bill Levin said in an interview with Yahoo News.

Levin, did protest against the RFRA.

"After Pence made the announcement that he would sign it in a private ceremony, I became born again," Levin said.

The members of the church, referred to as "Cannabiterians," believe in the message of a "Deity Dozen," which is their version of the Ten Commandments:

  1. Don't be an a**hole. Treat everyone with Love as an equal.
  2. The day starts with your smile every morning. When you get up, wear it first.
  3. Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it's needed.
  4. Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.
  5. Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything.
  6. Never start a fight... only finish them.
  7. Grow food, raise animals get nature into your daily routine
  8. Do not be a "troll" on the Internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive.
  9. Spend at least 10 minutes a day just contemplating life in a quiet space.
  10. When you see a bully... stop them by any means possible. Protect those who cannot protect themselves.
  11. Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
  12. Cannabis, "the Healing Plant" is our sacrament. It brings us closer to ourselves and others. It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group.
"We're going to do all the good things that churches do. Celebrate life, love, compassion and good health," Levin said. "Everyone is going to leave in a happy, spiritual, healthy way."

Levin went on to say, "I will bring people up to testify on the podium of life about what they've learned about those subjects this week," he said. "It's a completely interactive service."

While the halls of the congregation and stained glass windows are not fogged up with smoke yet, legally, the church could face challenges.

According to Daniel O. Conkle, professor of law at Indiana University, consequences are likely.

"Under RFRA, if charged with possession of an illegal substance, the church would have to demonstrate to a court of law that their marijuana use stems from a genuine religious belief, rather than a contrived excuse to get high."

"I would say their ability to make that showing is probably pretty doubtful in this case," Conkle told Yahoo News.

While I support industrial hemp and medicinal marijuana (see my articles at, regarding those topics), even though the Cannabiterians may have found a loophole, it seems like just an excuse to smoke a blunt.

Read more here.