Shalom Life | June 16, 2015

Of course, the Founder of the First Church of Cannabis is Jewish

With tax-exempt status and IRS recognition, Bill Levin's new church will begin operation with the passing of Indiana's new religious freedom legislation

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: June 10th, 2015 in News » World

Of course, the Founder of the First Church of Cannabis is Jewish

Photo: Bill Levin


We love talking about medical marijuana here at Shalom Life. Whether it's for medical purposes, religious purposes, or even just a novel way of using the plant, medical marijuana has become a topical subject that has seeped into the zeitgeist of our culture.

Enter Bill Levin.

Levin, who grew up as part of the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, decided it was time for him to found his very own church. However, Levin's church is unlike any to come before it: The First Church of Cannabis.

Levin begins describing his congregation by saying his church is, "teaching the same things that JC and all the other good Jewish rabbis taught, but without the burden of magic books." His church has no guilt, and no sin.

The church is also completely nondenominational. "We don't want the responsibility of saying who, what, where, and why God is," Levin explains.

To the Cannabiterians, God is love, "and we celebrate love in our life's great adventure."

Instead of following the Ten Commandments, Levin's church follows the Deity Dozen, which includes such suggestions as, "Don't be an asshole," and, "Treat your body as a temple."

However, the true difference between Levin's church and any other can be found in the 12th of the Deity Dozen: "Cannabis, 'the healing plant' is our sacrament."

Yes, Levin's church, which will meet on Wednesdays to free up time for "the other guys," believes in the use of Cannabis to help spread and celebrate the force of love.

"I always had a problem going over the old books," Levin explained to the Times of Israel when asked about his youth spent in Hebrew school, "Religions don't take the time to say this is what did happen and talk about how it reflects on our life now. Moses was lost in the desert for 40 without a GPS. We live in a world where you can't relate to being lost anymore."

Levin explained that the emphasis of his church is being honest with God, and with yourself, while also promoting the health benefits of cannabis when used as part of the worship service.

"It's a love generator."

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