Attorney General Curtis Hill: High hopes of ‘First Church of Cannabis’ are unsupported by Indiana law

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In legal documents filed Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, Attorney General Curtis Hill asked the Marion Superior Court to grant final judgment in the state’s favor against a small group of marijuana enthusiasts operating in Indianapolis under the name “First Church of Cannabis.”

The pro-marijuana plaintiffs began calling themselves a church in 2015 in order to poke fun at Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which they opposed, and to argue for the right to smoke pot as a matter of religious liberty.

On this basis, the group then filed a lawsuit against state and local officials seeking relief from Indiana’s anti-marijuana statutes.

“This case is a story of a political crusade turned legal stunt,” Attorney General Hill said. “RFRA was never intended to protect illegal conduct masquerading as religious faith. Even if this were a bona fide religion in which the plaintiffs sincerely believed, the state’s compelling interest in protecting public health and safety from the dangers of drug abuse would override the plaintiffs’ desire to treat marijuana as some kind of sacrament.”

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