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Judge drops suit of church that wants pot to be sacrament

July 9, 2018

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a pot-smoking Indianapolis church that wants marijuana to be recognized as a sacrament.

The 3-year-old case in Marion Circuit Court was dropped Friday.

The First Church of Cannabis filed the lawsuit on grounds that pot was considered a sacrament under Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In her dismissal order, Judge Sheryl Lynch said the church's love for marijuana does not count as practicing a religion. She also said allowing exemptions for illegal marijuana use and possession would negatively impact society.

The pro-cannabis church’s attorney told The Indianapolis Star last week he plans to appeal should the church lose the case. The group has argued that the government has no right to decide which religious beliefs should be protected.

Attorney General Curtis Hill hailed the ruling in a statement Saturday in a case he called a legal stunt. “I appreciate the court’s fidelity to both the law and to common sense,” Hill said. “Indiana’s laws against the possession, sale and use of marijuana protect the health, safety and well-being of Hoosiers statewide. When the state has justifiable and compelling interests at stake, no one can evade the law simply by describing their illegal conduct as an exercise of religious faith.”

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