Marijuana activist Bill Levin is perhaps the only person who has benefitted from Indiana’s controversial religious freedom act. Thanks to Governor Mike Pence, he has opened the world’s first church for pot smokers.
Although marijuana is currently illegal for medical and/or recreational use in Indiana, the adherents of “The First Church of Cannabis” will easily be able to use it as a sacrament – thanks to the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which limits the government from interfering in people’s religious practices.
“The church is based on love and understanding with compassion for all,” Levin told the Washington Post. “If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them. This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called ‘cannataerians.’”
The new religion has no place of worship – at least not for now. It does, however, has a Facebook page which has amassed more than 20, 000 likes within a few days.
Levin says he's overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and is hoping to expand the religion to accommodate more people.
“We are progressing to get a building property to be our holy ground,” he stated. “We’re going to set up counseling for heroin since we have a huge epidemic in this country. We’ll probably have Alcoholics Anonymous, too. I’m not going to allow alcohol on the premise.”