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Indiana's Church Of Marijuana Granted Tax-Exempt Status From IRS

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posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:12 PM
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Indiana's Church Of Marijuana Granted Tax-Exempt Status From IRS

Ok, so this just made my day. In a step forward for the newly formed religion in Indiana trying to take advantage of its newly enacted Religious Freedom Law (you know, the one enacted to discriminate against LGBTs?), which WAS changed at the last minute to prevent discrimination, has just acquired 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. In other words, they are now a federally recognized charity/religion and aren't required to pay taxes.


Indiana's First Church of Cannabis -- a religious sect that embraces marijuana use as a sacrament, newly formed under the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- has just received the classification that so many religious organizations covet: tax-exemption status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.

"We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax," the IRS cover letter to the church, dated May 21, reads. "We determined that you are a public charity." A copy of the IRS letter was provided to The Huffington Post by Bill Levin, the church's founder.

The church's tax exemption status means it can take full advantage of the benefits of being considered a public charity by the federal government, including the deduction of financial contributions, limits on the IRS's ability to audit the church, and being qualified to receive tax-deductible gifts and more. It's also good news for the nearly $11,000 the church has raised through a crowdfunding account over the last several months.


In even MORE startling news. The IRS responded to this request in only 30 days. Their website says that it takes 180 days for the application turnaround. In other words, for some reason the IRS either became 6 times more efficient for this application or maybe it's what Bill Levin said, "the power of love".


"The approval came in under 30 days, which if you're a lawyer you sort of go, 'How the hell did that happen?'" Levin told HuffPost. "We filled out the long form, sent it in to the IRS and expected that usual 180-day wait -- but it was back on our desk in under 30 days."

The IRS's own website says it will respond within 180 days to the long-form application. So how did this new church get such a quick turnaround?

"The power of love," Levin said.




Though don't go over celebrating JUST yet. This doesn't necessarily mean that the church will be allowed to serve marijuana as a sacrament just yet. Oh and the church doesn't even have a formal location yet either. Though things are looking promising in both regards.


The church was already officially recognized by Indiana's secretary of state office in March, so the tax-exempt status only bolsters its standing as an actual church. But it remains unclear how the state will respond to the church's embrace of marijuana use, as the substance remains illegal under state law.


As for where the church's followers will congregate, Levin is still in search of a proper venue, but says the church is very close to closing on a building.


I leave you with the sacred tenants of this new faith, the Deity Dozen


1) Don’t be an asshole. Treat everyone with Love as an equal.
2) The day starts with your smile every morning. When you get up, wear it first.
3) Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it’s needed
4) Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas
5) Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything
6) Never start a fight… Only finish them.
7) Grow food, raise animals. Get Nature into your daily routine.
8) Do not be a “troll” on the internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive
9) Spend at least 10 mins a day just contemplating life in a quiet space
10) When you see a bully… stop them by any means possible. Protect those who cannot protect themselves.
11) Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
12) Cannabis, “the Healing Plant” is our sacrament. It brings us closer to ourselves and others. It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group.

edit on 3-6-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Well they are praying to something you can actually see in real life.......Maybe the answer is we should just stop all religious tax exempt status.



Church and state should be separate and for good reason.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I see it now - Cardinal Haze holding sermons.

S n F




posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:21 PM
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a reply to: SubTruth

Answer? Answer to what? What's wrong with this guy taking advantage of a law to start a religion and gain tax exempt status? I don't even see how a religion having tax exempt status is a violation of separation of church and state provided that all federally recognized religions can have it.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:43 PM
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love it love it love it Krazysh0t, made my day too.
I'd go all Roman Catholic with the rituals.
An incense burner filled with sticky green stuff
and edibles for a host. Blamsphemy some will say ??
I say blasphemy right back at them ,This is our church
go get your own up to snuff if it seems boring now..



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: UnderKingsPeak

This is my favorite tenant from the twelve:
"2) The day starts with your smile every morning. When you get up, wear it first."



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 01:48 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: SubTruth

Answer? Answer to what? What's wrong with this guy taking advantage of a law to start a religion and gain tax exempt status? I don't even see how a religion having tax exempt status is a violation of separation of church and state provided that all federally recognized religions can have it.





I am actually not against this guy doing it.....Did you read my opening line? But the bigger picture is the law should be changed and no one should be allowed tax exemptions because of religion. Separation of church and state should be applied.
edit on 3-6-2015 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: SubTruth

Yes I did. That's why I was confused when you starting talking about answers. I'm also curious why you think that religions having tax exempt status is a violation of separation of church and state.

The way it is supposed to work is that you either honor all religions in the state equally or you honor no religions in the state. How it works with tax exempt status is that all are honored equally. This makes it so that no one religion stands out above the others, which keeps any one religion from having state sanctioned advantages. If you ask me, it's working as intended.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Guess I am going to get religion after all! Indiana here I come!



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:10 PM
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originally posted by: UnderKingsPeak
love it love it love it Krazysh0t, made my day too.
I'd go all Roman Catholic with the rituals.
An incense burner filled with sticky green stuff
and edibles for a host. Blamsphemy some will say ??
I say blasphemy right back at them ,This is our church
go get your own up to snuff if it seems boring now..


All you really need is some cheap wine (Richard's Wild Irish Rose), an incense burner (heh heh. get it at your local head shop), and a pack of crackers.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:21 PM
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It'll be shut down and replaced with the church of Pfizer soon enough.
They actually have money already, and can therefore control law...



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

They shouldn't call it a church...gives me bad vibes...shivers down me spine.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:38 PM
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Nobody gets a response sooner then 180 days

This is a sign by The Creator

Where can i join this church?

Really i'm not joking



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 02:50 PM
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originally posted by: MarioOnTheFly
a reply to: Krazysh0t

They shouldn't call it a church...gives me bad vibes...shivers down me spine.



If they don't call it a church, they don't get the tax loopholes- which is the whole point.

They're mocking the fact that church can own land and make profit but not pay tax.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: UnderKingsPeak
love it love it love it Krazysh0t, made my day too.
I'd go all Roman Catholic with the rituals.
An incense burner filled with sticky green stuff
and edibles for a host. Blamsphemy some will say ??
I say blasphemy right back at them ,This is our church
go get your own up to snuff if it seems boring now..



Imagine confession?

In penance for your sins you shall: smoke four spliffs and two bongs.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: Annunak1

Well Indiana, but as for their specific location:


"The reality of it is we are a 90 day old business with no credit and $10,000 in the bank," Levin said about acquiring a space for the church. "It's just a matter of being creative with the financing."

He's confident a satisfactory building will be found in time for what will be the church's first service on July 1 -- just after the RFRA law goes into effect. Levin expects more than 1,000 people will attend that first service.

"The law goes into effect at noon, and we'll start our service at 12:01 p.m.," Levin said. For the first service, there will be live music, storytelling and an interactive discussion of what it means to "live, love, laugh, learn, create, grow and teach" Levin said.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I can't help but wonder if the world would be a better place if everyone embraced the religion of cannabis... at least every now and again.


edit on 6/3/2015 by EternalSolace because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 05:10 PM
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PRAISE THE LORD!! JESUS WAS A STONER!! I knew he was COOL!!!



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 05:51 PM
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a reply to: SubTruth

I really don't see where they are praying to anything, it seems to be just about teaching one how to live their live more fullfilled. and well, that also seems to be what most religions now days seem to think it's all about also, telling us how we should live our lives, regardless of weather it's more fullfilling or not for us.



posted on Jun, 3 2015 @ 05:55 PM
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Praise the Lord and pass the......never mind.



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