Court rules in favor of attorney general’s office over First Church of Cannabis lawsuit

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Attorney General Curtis Hill is praising the Marion Superior Court’s decision to grant final judgment in the state’s favor against the First Church of Cannabis.

On Friday, the court ruled in favor of his office over the claim the First Church of Cannabis is not a religion, but a group of marijuana activists pretending to be church members.

The church and its members cannot use “marijuana as a holy sacrament” or sell marijuana in their gift shop.

They filed the lawsuit after Pence’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015.

“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, facing calls to resign over groping allegations, released the following statement:

“I appreciate the court’s fidelity to both the law and to common sense. 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.”

The church is located at 3400 S. Rural St. on the southeast side.