An Indianapolis Church That Worships Cannabis is Granted Tax-exempt Status by the IRS

June 3rd, 2015

The First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis have confirmed the IRS has granted them tax-exempt status, officially being considered a religious organization. Founder of the church, Bill Levin, claims seeking approval was quick and easy.

The church is currently reporting they have about 600 members, but are growing everyday. People are asked to donate whatever they can to obtain membership, donors have contributed anywhere from $4.20 all the way to $1,000. The organization also has a GoFundMe page where they have managed to raise over $10,000. Now, these donations can be deducted when members submit their taxes to the IRS.

The church will hold their first service on July 1st even though state law still strictly prohibits the use or possession of marijuana, including for consumption for medicinal purposes. However, Beneful reports that Indiana recent passed a law that prevents the government from interfering with religious practices, in this case the religious practice is smoking marijuana.

With states all over the country legalizing the use of marijuana, both recreational and medicinal, it is still surprising the First Church of Cannabis was able to pass through the legal barriers to obtain a tax-exempt status using religious laws. Some will say that this is a questionable use of our religious freedoms. However, they are called freedoms for a reason and Levin is simply practicing the rights our country gives to it’s citizens.

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