The First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis may have some crying, "Holy smoke! Pass the weed!" But although the First Church of Cannabis is all about Indiana marijuana legalization, church founder Bill Levin says no one was actually smoking pot during their first ever service. They did have one minor "fight," although that is probably pushing the definition of the word.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, one set of bad parents gave teen kids drugs as a "bargaining tool" in order to get them to behave.
The main focus of the First Church of Cannabis is Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which stipulates that "a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion... [unless it] is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest." They did not want to risk the threat of arrest, so "Grand Poobah" Levin said they would forego smoking weed in the meantime.
"Due to the threat of police action against our religion, I feel it is important to celebrate life's great adventure in our first service without the use of cannabis," Levin wrote on his Facebook page. "The police department has waged a display of shameless misconceptions and voluntary ignorance. We will do our first service without the use of any cannabis."
Surprisingly, the first service for the First Church of Cannabis was scheduled for noon on Wednesday, not 4:20 p.m. The interior of the Church of Cannabis matched the theme, since they had a version of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco, where God is offering Adam a giant-sized joint.
Local Christian churches were also on hand to protest the grand opening of Indiana's very first cannabis church, with one sign saying, "Religious freedom does not mean freedom to commit crimes." Church of Acts member Marva Tillman was concerned about how marijuana was made part of the doctrine, with cannabis church members talking about marijuana medicine while declaring, "Thank God for pot."
"I don't know what they're thinking," said Tillman, according to KSL. "It's not legal here and I pray that it doesn't become legal."
All in all, the event was peaceful. No arrests were made by police, although one witness did say there was a theological argument over whether or not a marijuana church was even a church at all.
"The only altercation was from two ministers from other churches were there protesting the existence of his church and got into a fight," said Joe Bryant. "That's the way to send a message I guess."
Bill Levin also plans on "entertaining" the police by producing various comedy skits.
"I now have a new audience to play too... I will be producing POLICE CAM FOLLIES a series of skits to keep our friends in blue entertained... all are welcomes ford try outs... Police request a pole for dancers be placed in our front yard... They have a zoom for close ups...."Do you think the First Church of Cannabis will help or hinder the cause for Indiana's marijuana legalization laws?
Are you a #Cannaterian? Here are the guiding principles of the #FirstChurchofCannabis@Cannaterianpic.twitter.com/bLVEyFIKa9[Image via Twitter]
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 2, 2015