Bill Levin has officially established the First Church of Cannabis after Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In response to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that went into effect in Indiana on Thursday, Bill Levin filed paperwork to establish the Church of Cannabis with the intent to “start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all. The church has reached over 16,000 fans on Facebook and has been given $2,000 in donations. The members of the church are called “cannatarians,” and follow their own list of 10 commandments, the first of which is “don’t be an asshole.”
Church of Cannabis: Challenging RFRA
Bill Levin has many plans in store for his newly established Church of Cannabis, including building a holy ground out of hempcrete, setting up “counseling for heroin since we have a huge epidemic in this country” and likely will have an Alcoholics Anonymous. He will ask members for $4.20 in donations each month. He adds that the church “has nothing to do with God; I don’t have the balls to describe a god to anybody. This is a god-filled or godless religion – it’s entirely up to you.”
Levin doesn’t label himself as religious, either. He explains his stance as “faith-driven, I’m very spiritual and I’m filled with love. I find that most religions are misled to 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. We don’t have any guilt doctrine built in. We don’t have any sin built in.”
The biggest question on everyone’s mind is how the current state laws on marijuana will impact the church. Abdul-Hakin Shabazz said that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, “as long as you can show that reefer is a part of your religious practices, you’ve got a pretty good shot of getting off scot-free.” He added that he feels the state would not be able to forge an interest in preventing anyone from smoking the green stuff.