The First Church of Cannabis, a so-called religious group, says it will abstain from using marijuana during its opening worship service, according to it's leader, amid concerns that police might arrest those in attendance because pot is illegal in Indiana.
The Indianapolis-based "church," which garnered national headlines earlier this year by becoming an officially recognized religious sect, announced Monday that marijuana will not be part of its first service.
Bill Levin, leader of the group, commented on social media that he's concerned about potential police action against the First Church of Cannabis if people use the banned substance during Wednesday's service. more >>
Indiana's First Church of Cannabis, an organization that is expected to test the limits of the state's new controversial religious freedom law by using marijuana recreationally during its services, has purchased a former church building as its worship center where it plans to host Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
The group's founder, former musician Bill Levin, told Indy Star that the new building located in Indianapolis' Eastside area will include a souvenir store and will host the recovery meetings in the basement.
"We closed on a church last night. We have the keys to our new home. It is [a] small and humble facility with love throughout every brick. We are HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!," said Levin on his Facebook page on Monday. more >>
Indiana's First Church of Cannabis, a religious organization pushing the boundaries of recreational marijuana use in the state that recently received tax-exempt status, has released its own version of the Ten Commandments named "The New Deity Dozen."
The "Deity Dozen" includes 12 basic guidelines for living for the group and encourages member to "practice these in your daily adventures in life, teach others to do the same."
The New Deity Dozen are: more >>
Indiana's marijuana-smoking church has been incorporated as a tax-exempt religious organization by the Internal Revenue Service, according to the church's founder.
Bill Levin, the founder of the First Church of Cannabis, a controversial group looking to test the limits of Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act by indulging in the smoking of marijuana during "church" services, said the IRS notified him earlier this week that the group's tax-exempt status will allow donors to deduct their contributions.
"It means people in higher tax brackets will be more generous with the church," said Levin to News and Tribune. "There have been people who want us to succeed but they've [been] waiting [on] our 501c3 exemption." more >>
An Indiana organization dedicated to marijuana that calls itself the First Church of Cannabis will host its first "worship service" on July 1, the same day that the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.
The organization will test the law's ban on government burdens on the exercise of religion as it will feature a pot-smoking session that is illegal in the state of Indiana.
The cannabis group's founder Bill Levin explained plans for the service to U.S. News and said it will open with "Amazing Grace" played on a harmonica by a popular young musician and move to a quick sermon followed by a "call to worship," which is actually just a time for smoking marijuana. more >>
Over the last few weeks, an Indiana county is making headlines as they report a number of confirmed HIV cases. In just a short span of two weeks, there are now 120 confirmed HIV cases according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
The epidemic that started last month is expected to rise even more as more people subject themselves for testing. The unprecedented rise in number forced Gov. Mike Pence to extend his previously approved 30-day needle exchange program. In a statement, the governor said, "While we've made progress in identifying and treating those affected by this heartbreaking epidemic, the public health emergency continues and so must our efforts to fight it."
The needle-exchange program is a short-term plan of addressing the outbreak by giving drug users sterile needles. Note: Indiana law does not permit needle exchanges but Gov. Pence is pushing the policy under a gubernatorial executive order. more >>