A judge has ruled against the First Church of Cannabis, an Indianapolis church seeking to offer its members marijuana as a holy sacrament.
Church blocked from using Marijuana as 'Holy Sacrament' by court
The group considers marijuana to be a “healing plant” and fountain of health
Allowing religious exemptions for marijuana use would have an overall negative impact on society, Lynch said.
She also argued that an exemption would put Indiana’s police officers in the difficult position of having to evaluate the sincerity of a marijuana user’s religious faith.
“The undisputed evidence demonstrates that permitting a religious exemption to laws that prohibit the use and possession of marijuana would hinder drug enforcement efforts statewide and negatively impact public health and safety,” Lynch wrote in a summary judgment.
The First Church of Cannabis says it is a religious entity with its own sacred texts, rituals and holidays. The church claimed that Indiana’s laws against possessing marijuana have substantially burdened church members’ right to freely exercise their religion.
The group considers marijuana to be a “healing plant” that “brings us closer to ourselves and others,” according to the original complaint filed in 2015.
“It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group,” the complaint reads.
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