Will Indiana's new religious freedom law open up the state to a pot-smoking church?
In the last week, the Indianapolis Star became the latest major news organization to pose that question (in a story picked up nationally by sister Gannett paper USA Today).
The Star reports:
The newly formed First Church of Cannabis appears to some observers as an excuse for potheads to get together and light up.
But the "grand poobah" of what followers describe as a new Indiana religion insists there is sanctity in the self-described ministry.
"This is what I live by, and I have more faith in this religion than any other," said Bill Levin, the founder who plans to hold the group's first official service on July 1 — the day Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act takes effect.
"This is my lifestyle. This is millions of people's lifestyle."
Levin, whose church titles include grand poobah and minister of love, is daring police to arrest him and his followers in what will likely be one of the first tests of the state's new RFRA protections.
Way back in late March, the story received other prominent attention.
But can someone really get away with starting a new church as a detour around Indiana's law against marijuana smoking?