Sunday, May 31, 2015
Christian Post, Indiana's Marijuana Church Granted Tax-Exempt Status; Plans to Test Limits of Controversial Religious Freedom Law at First 'Worship' Service:
Indiana's marijuana-smoking church has been incorporated as a tax-exempt religious organization by the Internal Revenue Service according to the church's founder.
Bill Levin, the founder of the First Church of Cannabis, a controversial group looking to test the limits of Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act by indulging in the smoking of marijuana during "church" services said the IRS notified him earlier this week about the group's tax will allow donors to deduct their contributions.
"It means people in higher tax brackets will be more generous with the church," said Levin to News and Tribune. "There have been people who want us to succeed but they've [been] waiting [on] our 501(c)(3) exemption."
The organization was established by Levin in March, after Indiana's General Assembly passed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which will go into effect on July 1. ... The First Church of Cannabis hopes to test the new law by holding a service on July 1 where members will take part in recreational marijuana-smoking, an activity that is currently illegal in the state of Indiana.
Levin said the service will open with "Amazing Grace" being played on a harmonica by a popular young musician and will move to a quick sermon followed by a "call to worship," which is a time for members to smoke.
The organization is currently looking for a church that will lease them space for the event. However, it's still unclear if local police and prosecutors are prepared to accept recreational marijuana smoking as protected under RFRA.
(Hat Tip: Pat Oglesby.)