Bill Levine is the founder of ‘The First Church of Cannabis.’ He has unceremoniously titled himself ‘The Grand Pooba’ of the congregation.
According to Levine, the establishment of TFCC in March 2015 was a direct response to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which states that individuals and companies are allowed to assert that their exercise of religion has been, or is likely to be, substantially burdened as a defense in legal proceedings or simply put: if you have a religion, the government won’t impede on your right for that religion.
This Act was intended, originally, to suppress the LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) but this unintentionally helped The First Church of Cannabis become a legitimate establishment.
The Church has a set of guidelines also known as Diety Dozens. They are as follows:
- Don’t be an a**hole. Treat everyone with Love as an equal.
- The day starts with your smile every morning. when you get up, wear it first.
- Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it’s needed.
- Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.
- Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything.
- Never start a fight… only finish them.
- Grow food, raise animals, get nature into your daily routine.
- Do not be a “troll” on the internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive.
- Spend at least 10 mins a day just contemplating life in a quiet space.
- Protect those who can not protect themselves.
- Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
- 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.
Grand Pooba, Bill Levine, legitimized his church and congregation by applying for legal status, and was approved the very day the RFRA was signed.