Attorney General Curtis Hill today praised a Marion Superior Court decision to grant final judgment in the state’s favor against a small group of marijuana enthusiasts operating in Indianapolis under the name “First Church of Cannabis.”
The pro-marijuana plaintiffs began calling themselves a church in 2015 in order to poke fun at Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which they opposed, and to argue for the right to smoke pot as a matter of religious liberty. On this basis, the group then filed a lawsuit against state and local officials seeking relief from Indiana’s anti-marijuana statutes.
On Friday, the Marion Superior Court concluded that the “church” and its members cannot use “marijuana as a holy sacrament” or sell marijuana in their gift shop.
“It is compelling and appropriate to treat the illicit drug market in a unitary way,” the court stated in its ruling. “It would be impossible to combat illicit drug use and trade in a piecemeal fashion that allowed for a religious exception that would become ripe for abuse.”
Attorney General Hill said the court’s finding should bring closure to a pro-marijuana political crusade that turned into a legal stunt.