The First Church of Cannabis is suing the State of Indiana and Marion County citing a violation of religious rights protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Soon after RFRA took effect, the church started holding services and claims that Indiana state laws that makes marijuana illegal puts a “substantial burden” on the church’s exercise of religion.
Here is the full text off the lawsuit.
A few days before RFRA went into effect, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said to WTHR, “Everyone needs to understand that the RFRA act does not create any sort of immunity from prosecution because it’s under the alleged guise of religious practice.”
Over 52 homicides have occurred in Marion County this year, and Curry is frustrated about how he thinks the city’s time could be used elsewhere.
“Our office and police agencies have serious public safety issues we have to address every single day. I am beyond frustrated that we are having to devote valuable time and resources to this matter solely because of an ill-advised and unnecessary law enacted by our legislature,” he said. “The act serves no purpose, no purpose whatsoever, other than political posturing.”
The First Church of Cannabis is recognized as a not-for-profit religious organization by the IRS and a registered religious society. However, there are several protesters around the neighborhood who were concerned about marijuana use in the area.
Although no has lit up during service, the Indianapolis Metro Police are beefing up their presence outside and around the church.