A judge has said no to the First Church of Cannabis which argued that the marijuana laws in Indiana restrict its religious freedom.

Indiana Judge Sheryl Lynch of the Marion Circuit Court, has ruled against the First Church of Cannabis who was seeking to offer its members marijuana as a holy sacrament.

She decided that Indiana had a “compelling interest” in preventing marijuana possession according to the Indianapolis Star.

According to the judge, by allowing religious exemptions for marijuana use would have an overall negative impact on society.

She wrote in a summary judgement, “The undisputed evidence demonstrates that permitting a religious exemption to laws that prohibit the use and possession of marijuana would hinder drug enforcement efforts statewide and negatively impact public health and safety.”

Indiana’s attorney general, Curtis Hill, stated to the Indianapolis Star, “Indiana’s laws against the possession, sale and use of marijuana protect the health, safety and well-being of Hoosiers statewide. When the state has justifiable and compelling interests at stake, no one can evade the law simply by describing their illegal conduct as an exercise of religious faith.”

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