FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indianapolis, IN – In an apparent effort to intimidate and coerce the free expression of religion, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, along with IMPD Chief Rick Hite and other city officials held a press conference on Friday June 26th. During the course of that press conference, Curry and Hite made it clear that those attending the inaugural service at the First Church of Cannabis, scheduled on July 1st, would face criminal charges and possible arrest. Chief Hite went so far as to compare the first Church of Cannabis and their leader, Bill Levin to mass murder Jim Jones and the People’s Temple.
The Libertarian Party of Marion County sees this as a direct attack on the inalienable rights numerated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. An individual’s belief or disbelief in Deity is no business of the State of Indiana or the City of Indianapolis. The consumption of cannabis as a religious sacrament poses no threat to public safety and therefore, the state has no compelling reason to interfere with this, or any peaceful assembly of worshippers. Arrest, citation, harassment or intimidation of any persons peaceably assembled at the First Church of Cannabis will be regarded as an attack on the individual liberties guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.
The Libertarian Party of Marion County encourages Chief Hite to apologize for his outlandish and insensitive comparison of the first Church of Cannabis to the dark tragedy of the People’s Temple. We call on the law enforcement community throughout Indiana to abide by the Constitution which they have taken an oath to uphold. Most importantly, we call on the good people of Indiana to assemble in the spirit of Liberty to protect the rights of the First Church of Cannabis and any other religious body facing persecution from the overreach of the state.