In the spirit of testing the boundaries of both prohibition and the Hoosier state’s newfound dedication to discrimination, Indiana’s First Cannabis Church has announced plans to hold its first-ever reefer revival at the beginning of July. The plan to is to stir the controversial shit pot in the state’s capital on the same day the Religious Freedom Restoration Act officially hits the ground running.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the ceremonious gathering will begin with a local musician spitting out “Amazing Grace” on a harmonica, followed by a sermon from the pot pulpit and a discussion over the congregation’s state of personal affairs. Bill Levin, the mastermind behind church, says it is at this point when he will invoke the marijuana sacrament and call together the capacity crowd to chief out until the sanctuary is filled with smoked.
The revival is an incredibly bold experiment, aimed at testing the weight of the hammer that has the potential to be brought down if law enforcement decides to shake down parishioners of the leaf. However, regardless of the uncertainty, Levin does not appear to give two flying squirts about the possible repercussions that could stem from holding a cannabis mass in a state that has repeatedly rejected proposals to so much as decriminalize the herb.
In fact, Levin told High Times back in March that he felt as “safe as a baby on his momma’s titty” launching the First Church of Cannabis because not a single gray haired magistrate in the state of Indiana has the guts to judge God or challenge religious beliefs. Since then, he claims to have received “an influx of free legal advice,” which has renewed his faith in the fact that his service will be conducted within the confines of the law.
“I don’t think anyone is going to come into the church,” he said. “After our last media exposure we need as much love as we can get in this state. Even right-wing conservatives have smiled at me and said, ‘Do it!’”
Ultimately, the potential for a raid will depend on whether the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office chooses to get involved – an unlikely scenario, according to local sources. Pam McLeish, a representative for the prosecutor’s office, said police normally confer with prosecutors in situations like this and so far, she is not aware of any meetings that have taken place aimed at stopping the church service.
So far, authorities have only suggested they will intervene if the event happens on city or county property. A recent post on the church’s Facebook page indicates the stoner ceremony will take place at the legendary Vogue Theatre, a venue typically used by touring musical acts.
Indiana’s First Cannabis Church is the direct result of Governor Mike Pence’s signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which made it legal for business owners across the state to refuse service to individuals whose lifestyles they do not support. Under the principles of this law, legal experts have suggested the state no longer has any legal recourse against people who want to worship cannabis.