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  • ShereeKrider 2:27 pm on July 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: : Current Events, , , , First Church of Cannabis, IMPD, Indianapolis, Indy, , , , pot, religious freedom, RFRA, weed   

    The Cannabiterians and the cops 



    Charlie Doss stood outside his house on South Rural Street and watched the cops rumble by on their motorcycles.
    “You’d think they were gettin’ ready for World War Three,” he muttered. The police presence in his neighborhood was making Charlie cranky.
    “What’s the big fuckin’ deal?” he announced.
    Roughly two dozen patrol cars and a mobile IMPD unit sat at the ready in the parking lot of the Carpenters Local Union building two blocks from the First Church of Cannabis. Officers seemed to be everywhere; on foot, on bicycles — like so many other cities in America in recent years, Indy’s police department looked less like a group of peacekeeping constables and more like an occupying force.
    IMPD was out in strength for the opening services of Bill Levin’s brainchild, the First Church of Cannabis, an “unintended consequence” of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration law. After gaining tax-exempt status from the IRS, Bill had planned his inaugural ceremony for the day the law went into effect — July 1, 2015.
    Bill had initially stated that his congregants would partake of their sacrament — weed — at the end of the service.
    Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry had responded to Bill’s intentions with a press conference. Curry expressed monumental frustration with the Indiana legislature, but made it clear IMPD would have all the plastic cuffs it needed: “Anyone caught in possession of marijuana will be subject to arrest … anyone caught giving marijuana to another individual will be subject to arrest for dealing.”
    And further, as NUVO’s Amber Stearns reported on June 26:
    Curry outlined all of the potential causes for arrest at the church service. Anyone attending the service, if marijuana is present, could be subject to arrest for probation violation or for visiting a common nuisance even if they choose not to partake in the church’s “sacrament.” Anyone who tries to drive away from the church while high is subject to arrest for operating under the influence. Any and all possible criminal code violations will be enforced. He also stressed that no minor child should be in the vicinity of the church.

    Worried about a mass bust — including those who simply might’ve shown up to sing and not smoke — Levin prohibited weed at the church for the July 1 services. 



    City-County Councilor voices concern over city’s response to First Church of Cannabis
    Posted By Amber Stearns @AmberLStearns on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 4:00 PM

    IMPD was present in large numbers at the inaugural service of the FIrst Church of Cannabis. - PHOTO BY ED WENCK

    Indianapolis City- County Councilor Zach Adamson issued a statement calling into question the actions of the city and specifically the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in their response to the First Church of Cannabis.

    The church held their first service Wednesday at noon following the enactment of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Adamson says the views expressed in his statement are his own and are not meant to reflect the sentiment of the entire council.

    Adamson’s statement reads as follows:

    Yesterday, as Hoosiers watched as several new state laws took effect, one issue of particular local interest has been a bit more high profile in the news. Specifically, The First Church of Cannabis, as they push the limits of the liberties the state says they wanted to protect.

    Sadly, more than the reaction of the state, the OVER-reaction by local authorities has been of greater disappointment. Indianapolis residents have watched over the weeks as the media wars on both side of the issue have battled it out on both mainstream and social media.

    “I’ve been very troubled by the reaction by our city and the by and large overreaction by our police chief, who actually compared this religious institution’s leader to Jim Jones. That’s a jaw-dropping comparison to a horrific crime and it is an insult to the lives that were lost in that tragedy. It is even more disappointing to see this overreaction using scarce public safety resources during a time of great need in our neighborhoods”, said City-County Councilor Zach Adamson.

    Adamson continued, “Many residents have rightfully raised concerns about the city’s inappropriate use of taxpayer resources to fund harassment of this minority religious group. After reading several media reports of selective enforcement of municipal ordinances, the undue installation of police surveillance cameras – at a time when so many of our areas hardest hit by crime don’t have such attention – and the literal recruitment of opposition protesters by the mayors IMPD chief, many fear that Chief Hite’s actions have exposed the City of Indianapolis to expensive and preventable civil liabilities for violations of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, among others.

    As our city saw with yesterday morning’s homicide on the near northwest side, we need more officers on the streets and more dollars for neighborhood policing strategies – not unwarranted harassment.”

    The Council intends to take all possible actions to give IMPD the necessary tools they need to prioritize enforcement and we hope that we can pull back this encroachment onto the religious freedom of our residents. We call on the public safety agencies to allocate the officers and cameras where our residents have, for years, been begging for them and stop this highly inappropriate use of scarce taxpayer resources. We also call on Chief Hite to issue an immediate apology for the inappropriate invoking of the Jonestown Massacre.


  • ShereeKrider 2:29 am on March 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , pot, , , Tom McKee   

    Msgt. Tom Vance: Pot bill will not be called up… 

    Written by :  Msgt. Thomas Vance

    Msgt. Thomas Vance

    Monday night, 19 March 2012, on Kentucky Tonight with Bill Goodman on Kentucky Educational Television the topic was Prescription Drug Abuse bills and what the Assembly might be doing about them. As has been shown recently and known by medical marijuana users, those who use medical marijuana for pain generally use less prescription pain killers over time and many find they no longer need them. On the program was State Senator Tom Jensen the Chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee where the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana, SB129 is currently. Near the end of the program Mr. Goodman read to the Senator a question that was emailed in. The question was that given the fact that prescription pain medication use is lowered by using medical marijuana instead, shouldn’t the Senate Judicial Committee be calling up Senate Bill 129 the medical marijuana bill? Senator Jensen said basically that the bill would not pass the committee because the committee members are not knowledgeable enough about the issue, the bill had no support in the senate and until it has the votes he will not bring it up. The Senator went on to suggest that the Kentucky Attorney General who was also on the program might not approve.

    I must take issue with the statement that there is no support in the Senate for the bill since it was filed by Senator Perry Clark and co-sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader Senator Kathy Stein and Senator Denise Harper-Angel. These are pretty influential Senators to support a bill that is supposedly going nowhere. Senator Clark has said that there is plenty of support for the bill and he expects it to pass next year.

    It is interesting to note that the citizens of Kentucky who need this medicine have been told to wait another year in the same week we take note of President Nixon’s rejection of the results of the Shafer Commission. The Shafer Commission, appointed by President Nixon, was asked to study America’s drug problem and make policy recommendations accordingly. The commission recommended, among other things, that possession of and transfer of small quantities of marijuana should not be a criminal offense. March 22nd is the forty year anniversary of the rejection of the commission’s recommendations and the beginning of the Government’s War on Drugs. Marijuana would again be a scapegoat, used to harass not Mexicans in the southwest but Anti-Vietnam War protesters.

    Forty years, billions of tax dollars, millions arrested and incarcerated, innumerable lives and families destroyed, and for what? The Vietnam War protests are long over. Can we, for the love of God, can we please put an end to it here in Kentucky while we wait for the Federal Government to come to it’s senses.

    We have destroyed the credibility of our government and law enforcement with the untrue statements we have used to keep this war going, a war that thankfully with ballot initiatives for full legalization this coming November in Colorado, Washington, California, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, might be finally coming to a long awaited end. It will be interesting to see to what lengths the Government will go to keep the War going should any one of these initiatives pass. On to November!

    continue reading…

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