Wednesday, July 1, 2015

First Church of Cannabis Holds Initial Service

The First Church of Cannabis is a newly formed religious organization which holds as its main tenets acceptance of, openness to, and love for all people as well as a quest for knowledge and being open-minded. Visitors to the church today embraced these principles which stood in stark contrast to a small contingent of protesters from a nearby so-called Christian church. Protesters carried signs demeaning the First Church of Cannabis and its members. Some in that small contingent expressed a preference for former racial segregation laws which were long ago struck down by the US Supreme Court.

Today’s service was covered by a vast array of media. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department had officers posted at each intersection within about a half mile radius of the church as well as about 30 vehicles staged in the parking lot of the Primo Banquet Hall directly south of the church.

I spoke with one neighbor who told the protesters to stay off of her property because she did not agree with their hostile actions. She claimed to be a current adherent to Christianity who had been baptised in the church building which now houses the First Church of Cannabis.

The service was well attended and overflowed into the yard. However, many wouldbe attendees stayed away following the declaration by the bigoted Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry that all attendees would be arrested if anyone at the church service was found in possession of marijuana. Marijuana was not used as part of today’s service because use of the outlawed herb was not necessary to establish standing to file suit against the prosecutor after his declaration to violate members rights protected by the Indiana version of the RFRA.

Attorneys for the First Church of Cannabis filed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office around 10:00am today alleging a violation of civil liberties. It is also a federal criminal offense to, while under colour of law, intimidate a citizen into not exercising a constitutionally protected liberty - 18USC242.

I was interviewed a few times by various media sources and continued to espouse the need for decriminalization of cannabis so that the deliberate harm to children and profiteering by proponents of criminalization can finally be brought to an end. I have written more about how criminalization harms children in Marijuana Legalization and the Danger to Children.

The First Church of Cannabis is located in the 3400 block of south Rural Street in Indianapolis. The Church was appreciative that early today Metro PD had an IPL crew install a video surveillance camera on the street in front of the church so anyone who may seek to vandalize the church can be seen and apprehended.

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