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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Praise the Lord! Or, er, giant spliff.

    Someone’s actually just gone and set up the first Church of Cannabis.

    Self-proclaimed ‘Minister of Love’ Bill Levin spawned the idea after the ‘religious freedom’ law was passed in Indiana, US.

    It was drawn up to allow businesses the right to refuse to cater for people of certain sexual orientations.

    But Bill’s taken advantage of the new law and claims that if his church is blocked by anti-drug laws it would defy his religious freedom.

    The weed lover has launched a Go Fund Me campaign and even laid out 12 commandments which include: ‘Don’t be an a**hole.’



    Metro.uk/March 30, 2015
    http://metro.co.uk/2015/03/30/someones-established-the-first-church-of-cannabis-5128214/?
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. DeepGreenSea
    Trust me-This wonderful human is a Miracle Hoosier...

    I wonder if he wants to come over?lol.

    Bet he's from Bloomington or Brown County.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: Church of Cannabis Shaking Indiana Up

    [IMGL=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=43479&stc=1&d=1427770571[/IMGL]The First Church of Cannabis Inc. has been approved by Indiana’s secretary of state after the state’s religious freedom legislation became law last week.

    The church’s founder Bill Levin said he filed paperwork in direct response to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday. Secretary of State Connie Lawson approved the church as a religious corporation with the stated intent “to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all.”

    Cannibis is listed as the church’s sacrament in its doctrine, Levin said, and he will set up a church hierarchy. The church will plan to grow hemp, he said, though it will not buy or sell marijuana.

    “If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them,” Levin said. “This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called ‘cannataerians.’”

    Marijuana is currently illegal in Indiana for both medical and recreational use, so the church could test the application of the new law. RFRA prevents Indiana’s government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion if it can demonstrate that it is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest.

    Levin, who spoke to The Post over the phone, said the church has received $2,000 in donations and received more than 7,000 Facebook fans in the five days that it has existed. He hopes to build the first church or temple built of hempcrete, a building material similar to concrete that includes hemp.

    “We are progressing to get a building property to be our holy ground,” he said. “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.”

    Levin also wrote out the new “Diety Dozen,” a 10 commandments-like list with suggestions for better living.

    “The bibles of other religions are yesteryear about the drinking out of goat skins. That doesn’t relate to people with GPS in their hand and 7,000 tunes in that same hand,” he said. “The church is very simple. The first good book we’re going to ask parishioners to read and understand is ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes.’”

    Levin, who owns a consulting and marketing company called Levin Consulting in Indianapolis, said he is not religious.

    “I’m very faith-driven, I’m very spiritual and I’m filled with love,” he said. “I find that most religions are misled into gross perversions of what they are meant to be. This path has led me to lead a religion that people in today’s world can relate to it. We don’t have any guilt doctrine built in. We don’t have any sin built in.”

    Once the church is established, members will be asked for individual donations of $4.20 a month, Levin said.

    Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz wrote that Indiana legislators may have put the state in a position to acknowledge those who profess to smoke pot as a religious sacrament.

    “You see, if I would argue that under RFRA, as long as you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you got a pretty good shot of getting off scott-free,” he wrote. “Remember, under RFRA, the state has to articulate a compelling interest in preventing you from smoking pot. I argue they can’t.”

    The Church of Cannabis is just one test of many under Indiana’s new law, which has escalated to national prominence in the past week, raising questions about the future of religious freedom laws and gay rights.



    The Washington Post/March 30, 2015
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...hpModule_99d5f542-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394
    Art: Wonkette
    Newshawk Crew
  3. tayorous
    This is brilliant I have a complaint, I don't like the use of amen as that could mean that they are Christian. Other than that I live by those ideologies anyway. And a religion about weed!
  4. JarvyJarvison
    It sounds like a cult to me.
  5. Rob Cypher
    Indiana’s anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ act opens door for First Church of Cannabis

    In a classic case of “unintended consequences,” the recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana may have opened the door for the establishment of the First Church of Cannabis in the Hoosier State.

    While Governor Mike Pence (R) was holding a signing ceremony for the bill allowing businesses and individuals to deny services to gays on religious grounds or values, paperwork for the First Church of Cannabis Inc. was being filed with the Secretary of State’s office, reports RTV6.

    Church founder Bill Levin announced on his Facebook page that the church’s registration has been approved, writing, “Status: Approved by Secretary of State of Indiana – “Congratulations your registration has been approved!” Now we begin to accomplish our goals of Love, Understanding, and Good Health.”

    Levin is currently seeking $4.20 donations towards his non-profit church.

    According to Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, Indiana legislators, in their haste to protect the religious values and practices of their constituents, may have unwittingly put the state in an awkward position with those who profess to smoke pot as a religious sacrament.

    Shabazz pointed out that it is still illegal to smoke pot in Indiana, but wrote, “I would argue that under RFRA, as long as you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you got a pretty good shot of getting off scot-free.”

    Noting that RFRA supporters say the bill “only spells out a test as to whether a government mandate would unduly burden a person’s faith and the government has to articulate a compelling interest for that rule and how it would be carried out in the least restrictive manner,” Shabazz contends the law may tie the state’s hands.

    “So, with that said, what ‘compelling interest’ would the state of Indiana have to prohibit me from using marijuana as part of my religious practice?” he asked. ” I would argue marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and wine used in religious ceremonies. Marijuana isn’t any more ‘addictive’ than alcohol and wine is used in some religious ceremonies. And marijuana isn’t any more of a ‘gateway’ drug than the wine used in a religious ceremony will make you go out and buy hard liquor. (At least not on Sunday.)”

    Shabazz concluded, “I want a front row seat at the trial that we all know is going to happen when all this goes down.”

    Tom Boggioni
    Raw Story
    March 29, 2015

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/...ns-the-door-for-the-first-church-of-cannabis/
  6. RoboCodeine7610
    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.”


    [​IMG]


    Bill Levin is the self-described “Minister of Love and Grand Poobah” of the Church. The first church service is set for July 1, 2015. It is no coincidence that July 1 is the day the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act takes effect. The church has a Facebook page with clever notes like “The Deity Dozen,” “Don’t be an asshole” and “Do not be a ‘troll’ on the Internet.”

    First Church of Cannabis

    The Indianapolis Star says First Church of Cannabis could test the new religious freedom law. And many are probably wondering if the Church of Cannabis is a real church. The State of Indiana and the IRS think so. For others, it may depend on how you define a church and how well this fits the pattern. There are some strange court cases that have looked at the question. For example, U.S. v. Myers, examined five factors to determine whether a “Church of Marijuana” was authentically religious: ultimate ideas, metaphysical beliefs, a moral system, comprehensiveness of beliefs, and the ‘accoutrements of religion,’ such as important writings, a priesthood, etc.

    The Church says that “Cannabis, the ‘healing plant,’ is our sacrament.” Its founder plans to grow hemp. though the church will not buy or sell marijuana. But smoking in church will evidently be permitted. “If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them,” Levin said. “This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called ‘cannataerians.’”

    There are many tax advantages of church status and an IRS determination letter. Even compared to other tax-exempt organizations, church status is the crème de la crème. Churches reap a vast array of tax advantages. They even include special rules limiting IRS authority to audit a church. A “church” is not specifically defined in the tax code, but the IRS lays out buzzwords in its tax guide for churches and religious organizations, including these characteristics:

    Distinct legal existence;
    Recognized creed and form of worship;
    Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government;
    Formal code of doctrine and discipline;
    Distinct religious history;
    Membership not associated with any other church or denomination;
    Organization of ordained ministers;
    Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed study;
    Literature of its own;
    Established places of worship;
    Regular congregations;
    Regular religious services;
    Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young; and
    Schools for preparing its members.

    The IRS considers all facts and circumstances in assessing whether an organization qualifies. But unlike other exempt organizations, a church need not actually apply for tax exemption. Most churches do, but it is technically not required. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center reports that over one hundred 501(c)(3) organizations lose their tax-exempt status each year. The reasons vary, but the losses of tax-exempt status do suggest that the mere fact that the First Church of Cannabis obtained a tax exemption does not necessarily mean it will keep it forever.

    Robert W. Wood
    JUN 1, 2015
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertw...-church-of-cannabis-whats-next-for-marijuana/
  7. Adas
    Re: IRS Approves First Church Of Cannabis. What's Next For Marijuana?

    Such Church already exists, no need to create another one. Sounds like these people actually think that Marijuana is the source of love/compassion, and/or that without it human beings are not able to give love and compassion.

    Really sounds like that to me.
  8. ianzombie
    Re: IRS Approves First Church Of Cannabis. What's Next For Marijuana?

    Maybe these guys will get it right?
  9. Adas
    Re: IRS Approves First Church Of Cannabis. What's Next For Marijuana?

    I wanna see. But everyone is very different, cannot judge church only by its members, we are human, we make mistakes and let's just face it. It's about working on yourself, otherwise no church or ideology can change you (for the better). Drugs won't do that for you either.
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