Meet the Jewish grand poobah of the First Church of Cannabis

With IRS recognition, gifts are tax deductible for Bill Levin’s new Indianapolis church, which will begin operation the day Indiana’s new Religious Freedom law takes effect

though he grew up at the Reform-affiliated Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Bill Levin recently founded a church. And not just any church — the First Church of Cannabis, for which Levin will serve as the Minister of Love.

Sound like a joke? Not to Levin, although he tends to refer to himself in church dealings as the Grand Poobah. And apparently it’s no joke as well to government bureaucracy: the church was approved by Indiana’s secretary of state Connie Lawson in March and recognized last week by the IRS as a tax-exempt religious organization.

Levin, a 59-year-old reluctant carpenter/head shop clerk, and his team of volunteers were in the midst of taking down all the crosses in the building.The Times of Israel...

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