An enterprising Indiana marketing consultant has opened up the First Church Of Cannabis, thanks to anti-gay Hoosier lawmakers.
It's pretty clear that when anti-gay lawmakers and anti-gay lobbyists drafted and passed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) they intended it to be used as a license to discriminate against the LGBT community. But the law, which GOP Governor Mike Pence signed last Thursday, has already had at least one unintended consequence.
Because the language is so wide reaching and poorly-written, one Indiana libertarian marketing consultant has already filed for and received from the Indiana Secretary of State a license for the First Church Of Cannabis.
Bill Levin, whose Facebook page says he believes God "is A Good Thing," says he sees his attempts to legalize marijuana as a "crusade."
Levin is also the founder of the First Church Of Cannabis. On the Church's Facebook page, the announcement reads:
THE FIRST CHURCH OF CANNABIS INC. - 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.
The Raw Story reports that Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz says at Indy Politics, "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."
"I would argue marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and wine used in religious ceremonies," Shabazz writes. "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 any buy hard liquor. (At least not on Sunday.)"
Shabazz asks, "what ‘compelling interest’ would the state of Indiana have to prohibit me from using marijuana as part of my religious practice?"
Hoosiers may indeed be about to find out.
The Church should prove to be quite popular.
Levin is only asking for a $4.20 donation.