Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Act, which critics say allows discrimination of gay people. However, there is another unintended side effect, where The First Church of Cannabis is now allowed to smoke marijuana and have tax exempt status, even though weed is not legal in the state. Ben Mankiewicz (What The Flick?), Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show), and Ana Kasparian (The Point) hosts of The Young Turks discuss.
“Indiana’s marijuana-smoking church has been incorporated as a tax-exempt religious organization by the Internal Revenue Service according to the church’s founder.
Bill Levin, the founder of the First Church of Cannabis, a controversial group looking to test the limits of Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act by indulging in the smoking of marijuana during “church” services said the IRS notified him earlier this week about the group’s tax will allow donors to deduct their contributions.
“It means people in higher tax brackets will be more generous with the church,” said Levin to News and Tribune. “There have been people who want us to succeed but they’ve [been]waiting [on]our 501©3 exemption.”
The organization was established by Levin in March, after Indiana’s General Assembly passed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which will go into effect on July 1.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) says the government cannot “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow their religious beliefs, unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden and it does so in the least restrictive way.”
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