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(Indianapolis, IN) – After being threaten with arrest if it’s members smoked marijuana during service, The First Church of Cannabis has filed a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s laws on the possession and use of marijuana.

The complaint, which says the state infringed on the church’s religious freedoms, names Gov. Mike Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter, Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite, and Marion County Sheriff John Layton as defendants.Bill Levin via Facebook

The First Church of Cannabis held it’s first service and planned to smoke marijuana in church on July 1, the same day the Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law. The Church’s Grand Poobah Bill Levin asked members not to smoke during the service after Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite announced that anyone smoking the illegal substance during the service would be arrested.

The lawsuit presented by the Levin outside the statehouse Wednesday, says cannabis is the sacrament of the church and that marijuana brings its members closer. Mark Small the church’s lawyer says he believes the Church of Cannabis meets the requirements to be legitimate church.

The church is located at 3400 South Rual Avenue.

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