Marijuana did not pass muster as a holy sacrament with an Indiana state circuit court judge last year, citing now-Vice President-then-Indiana-Governor Mike Pence’s championed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Whether the state appellate court might have agreed about the legitimacy of the First Church of Cannabis and its use of the drug for religious purposes won’t be known anytime soon. According to Indiana Public Media, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the case after the plaintiff, founder of the church, failed to pay a court transcript fee or respond to the state’s motion to dismiss with an argument for why the court should allow the case to move forward.
Los Angeles marijuana attorneys know the case won’t have much of an impact here in California, but it was interesting from a legal standpoint for how it might have impacted other states where the drug remains illegal for any purpose.
The state’s RFRA established a legal standard (unique to Indiana) requiring the government prove a compelling reason to restrict someone else’s religious practices and a burden of proof to show that it is doing so in the least burdensome way possible. Continue reading