Church of cannabis opens in Indiana though marijuana's use is prohibited

  • The first ever church dedicated to worshiping marijuana has sprouted in Indiana in response to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)
  • The church, founded by Bill Levin, 59, has been deemed a charity and donors can deduct gifts made to the church on their federal tax returns
  • Recreational and medicinal marijuana use is not permitted in Indiana but Levin says since he's not selling it he doesn't think he'll get in trouble
  • Daniel O. Conkle, professor of law at Indiana University said the church will have to prove the religious aspect of smoking marijuana 


The first ever church dedicated to worshiping marijuana 'as a health supplement' has sprouted in Indiana.


IRS Approves First Church Of Cannabis. What's Next For Marijuana?

Welcome to the First Church of Cannabis Inc., approved by Indiana’s Secretary of State under its controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Even bigger that state law approval, the church has even been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. Tea Party conservatives evidently had a lot more trouble with their tax exemption applications. The stated intent of the upstart church is “to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all.”


Marijuana Church Ruled Tax Exempt

Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Act, which critics say allows discrimination of gay people. However, there is another unintended side effect, where The First Church of Cannabis is now allowed to smoke marijuana and have tax exempt status, even though weed is not legal in the state. Ben Mankiewicz (What The Flick?), Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show), and Ana Kasparian (The Point) hosts of The Young Turks discuss.

“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.


Hoosiers crowdfund for marijuana access as neighbor states legalize

INDIANAPOLIS – Jennifer Perkins says she feels like she’s on a roller coaster – even while standing still.

Perkins suffers from tuberous sclerosis, a medical condition that’s left small, potato-shaped tumors all over her body, including her brain and kidneys.

Perkins, who shared copies of her medical records with I-Team 8, believes the tumors might be the source of her frequent dizzy spells and seizures.

Her husband, Aaron, posted videos of Jennifer to the online crowdfunding website GoFundMe. The videos, he says, show Jennifer having seizures in their Indianapolis home.


Indiana Judge Denies Religious Defense For Medical Marijuana Caregiver

A northern Indiana judge rejected an argument by a man who asked that his marijuana possession charge be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor because he follows the Rastafarian faith.

Jerome Scott said that he was being charitable to others by cultivating marijuana to ease ailments from chronic back pain to cancer, the South Bend Tribune reports. St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller said he still broke the law.


Rastafari couple says marijuana laws unfair to their faith

SOUTH BEND — When a judge this week sentenced Jerome Scott for growing dozens of marijuana plants in his South Bend home last year, the 18 months of probation, a relatively light penalty for a felony conviction, didn’t bother him.

Scott, 30, didn’t even contest the fact that he was growing the weed. But he and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Melanie Schmidt, see the state's marijuana laws as unjust and offered an unusual argument as they fought to have his felony reduced to a misdemeanor.


Indiana Church Plans Pot-Smoking Worship Service in Test of Religious Freedom

The congregation will 'explode in glory,' church founder says, assuming cops and a willing landlord let them.

Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis plans to host its inaugural worship service July 1, the same day the state’s controversial religious freedom law takes effect. If all goes according to plan, the service will offer a bold test of the law’s ban on government burdens on the exercise of religion.

Adherents of the recently established church worship cannabis, which is illegal to grow, use or possess under state law.

The first service, church founder Bill Levin says, will open with “Amazing Grace” played on harmonica by a popular young musician and move to a quick sermon and short member testimonies about positive things that happened in the past week.


Hemp Seed On Its Way To Colorado, With A Federal Blessing

Following months of wrangling, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has secured a permit from federal drug enforcement officials to import industrial hemp seed from foreign countries.

The seeds are essential to kick-start Colorado’s hemp industry, which state agriculture officials say has seen a bottleneck in research and cultivation due to a lack of viable seed stocks


Colorado’s hemp registration program has taken off since the implementation of Amendment 64, which also legalized recreational marijuana in the state. With the new federal permit, the first shipments of seed could be here in two weeks, mostly from Italian universities.


Functional Brain Abnormalities & Marijuana the Opening Lecture at the CMSC Annual Meeting

Leading Educational Conference for Multiple Sclerosis Clinicians & Researchers to Take Place May 27-30 in Indiana


Indiana Push to legalize hemp production dies in legislature

Efforts to help Indiana gain federal approval to grow and sell industrial hemp have died this legislative session, the bill's author said Wednesday.

"There's some disagreement about just how close it is to marijuana," said Rep. Don Lehe, R-Brookston. "We just need more clarification about the differences."

While the measure — which would have excluded industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana — drew no opposition in the House, it lost momentum in the Senate. Opponents expressed concerns about relaxing Indiana's marijuana laws — even though industrial hemp differs from medical or recreational marijuana plants in THC content and appearance.


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