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First Church of Cannabis opens doors

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The First Church of Cannabis opened Wednesday.

It’s on the south side of Indianapolis in a church building that was vacant until it was purchased by the church, whose members plan to worship love by using marijuana.

It’s all part of the fallout from the RFRA law.

The founder of the First Church of Cannabis believes the new law protects him and his desire to smoke marijuana legally.

Bill Levin was in the pulpit Wednesday preaching about cannabis.

“It’s not marijuana,” he said, “it’s not pot, it’s not weed, it’s cannabis. OK? Those slang terms are derogatory.”

A sign went up outside advertising weekly services at the First Church of Cannabis, ironically, across the street from where the Natural High Tree Service was at work.

Levin considers marijuana natural.

“It’s a health supplement,” said. “We’re hard wired. Our bodies are hard wired to receive the sacrament of cannabis.”

His attorney believes its use in a religious ceremony is protected by RFRA.

“I don’t see them stopping every Roman Catholic service on Sunday morning,” said Jonathan Sturgill, “where kids under the age of 21 are drinking alchohol — doesn’t happen.”

The church already has 700 members who pay monthly dues of $2.40. The first service will be on July 1, the same day the RFRA law takes effect.

Members are thanking Mike Pence.

“And those that use cannabis as sacrament to get closer to themselves, each other and God should have the right to do so,” said Richard Suarez.

But a next-door neighbor has a different view.

“From what I understand, Mike Pence is rewording the law wrong,” said Sarah Taylor. “Can we take this building and set it in his neighborhood, ’cause we don’t want it here. We do not want it here.”

Because marijuana is illegal in Indiana, isn’t it?

“No, RFRA got us clear,” said Levin. “We celebrate life with it.”

He says it’s the fastest growing religion in the world.

The church will not buy, sell or trade marijuana, according to Levin.

24-Hour New 8 asked the prosecutor’s office what people there think about this idea. We did not get a response.