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:
- Don't be an a**h***. Treat everyone with love as an equal.
- The day starts with your smile every morning, when you get up, wear it first.
- Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it's needed.
- Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.
- Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything.
- Never start a fight … only finish them.
- Grow food, raise animals, get nature into your daily routine.
- Do not be a "troll" on the Internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive.
- Spend at least 10 minutes a day just contemplating life in a quiet space.
- When you see a bully… stop them by any means possible. Protect those who cannot protect themselves.
- Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
- 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.
Although the church views cannabis as a healing plant, the church's founder, Bill Levin, made it clear in a recent Facebook post that the group does not worship it.
"For the record: we do not worship cannabis. We celebrate life's great adventure. … We celebrate love in our lives and pray with cannabis. It is a health supplement for our bodies and our minds. It brings us closer to each other and closer to love. And it is good," he said.
The marijuana church was incorporated as a tax-exempt religious organization by the Internal Revenue Service last month.
"It means people in higher tax brackets will be more generous with the church," said Levin to News and Tribune in May. "There have been people who want us to succeed but they've [been] waiting [on] our 501c3 exemption."
The First Church of Cannabis was founded in March by Levin after Indiana's General Assembly passed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which goes into effect on July 1.
Indiana's RFRA says the government cannot "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow their religious beliefs, unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden and it does so in the least restrictive way.
The First Church of Cannabis plans to test the limits of the new law by holding a worship service on July 1 that features recreational marijuana use, which is illegal in the state of Indiana.
Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office in Indiana, previously told U.S. News that RFRA doesn't necessarily protect people committing crimes from being arrested.
"It's that they could assert [their religious beliefs are] a defense if they are prosecuted," she said.
Levin, however, is not worried about authorities interrupting the service.
"I don't think they're going to come into the church and arrest us," said Levin. "They don't go into a church now and stop people under 21 from drinking sacramental wine that's part of a service."