First Church of Cannabis inaugural service draws dozens of congregants


By: Rick Callahan/Associated Press

(Source: License:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dozens of people wearing shirts with tie-dye or images of marijuana leaves have gathered at a pot-smoking Indianapolis church that was formed as a test of Indiana’s new religious objections laws.

But participants in Wednesday’s inaugural service at the First Church of Cannabis were planning to celebrate the gathering without their illegal sacrament, days after authorities threatened arrests if the congregation lit up during the rites.

Neighbors who object to the church and other critics point out that marijuana is illegal in Indiana and say the church isn’t a good fit for the neighborhood.

Church founder Bill Levin says he decided to keep marijuana out of Wednesday’s service to ensure he can test the religious objections law in civil court instead of on criminal grounds.