by Sarah Ridley
Worshippers believe in the “Deity Dozen” – a list of 12 tenets for living a good life – which is the cannabis congregation’s equivalent of the Ten Commandments
|Highly religious: The first service will be held on July 1|
The First Church of Cannabis which preaches the healing powers of pot has won its right to spread its groovy gospel.
Bill Levin, 59, founded the church on March 26 and it has already clocked up over 700 members.
Members of the congregation, called “Cannabiterians,” say they smoke marijuana to connect more closely with themselves and others.
They pay £30 ($50) for a 12-month membership and sell “Holy Rollers” rolling paper to raise money for the church.
The church has weed instead of wine and a “pooh-bah” in place of a pastor, who preaches the power of weed to heal the world.
|Founder: Bill Levin, 59, says “Cannabiterians” smoke weed to connect more closely with others|
And last month, the Internal Revenue Service deemed the Indianapolis-based church a charity.
It means that donors can deduct gifts made to the church on federal tax returns and, when the cannabis congregation finds a location, it will be eligible for a property tax exemption — even though marijuana is illegal in the state of Indiana.
After launching a GoFundMe page to raise money to lease a building for worship, the church has so far collected more than £7000 ($11,000).
Bill told Yahoo News: “We don’t want to poison people. We want to see them healthy. And cannabis is the healthiest plant on Earth.
“Our church will not buy, sell or trade in the product.
“But we will encourage our members to enjoy the plant in our church, which is a sanctuary, a safe zone.”
Worshippers believe in the “Deity Dozen” – a list of 12 tenets for living a good life – which is the cannabis congregation’s equivalent of the Ten Commandments:
- Don’t be an a***hole. Treat everyone with love, as an equal.
- The day starts with your smile every morning. When you get up, wear it first.
- Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it’s needed.
- Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.
- Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything.
- Never start a fight, only finish them.
- Grow food, raise animals, get nature into your daily routine.
- Do not be a “troll” on the Internet; respect others without name-calling and being vulgarly aggressive.
- Spend at least 10 minutes a day just contemplating life in a quiet space.
- When you see a bully, stop them by any means possible. Protect those who cannot protect themselves.
- Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
- Cannabis, “the Healing Plant,” is our sacrament. It brings us closer to ourselves and others. 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.
Their first service is set for July 1 but the location has not yet been announced. The congregation will recite the Deity Dozen before smoking cannabis together.