Cannabis Church Poobah sues Rick Hite 

Levin files defamation suit


“On or about June 25, 2015, during a press conference [then-IMPD chief Rick Hite] made defamatory statements and imputations as to Plaintiff Bill Levin; specifically, Hite compared Levin to Jim Jones: ‘As Jim Jones once did within our state, he led a group of people into a place of no return. We don’t want that to happen again in this state.’”

The above graph is from a defamation lawsuit Bill Levin, Grand Poobah of the First Church of Cannabis, has filed against Hite for comparing Indy’s leading weed evangelist to the Indiana-bred cult-leading mastermind behind one of the largest mass murder/suicides in human history.

Back in July of 2015, Levin filed a lawsuit against the state . NUVO reported:

The recently formed Church of Cannabis filed a lawsuit Wednesday fighting for protections to use marijuana during services under the name of religious freedom.

Bill Levin held a press conference Wednesday at the Statehouse where he announced the filing of the lawsuit. The Church of Cannabis said the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which went into effect July 1, protects the right to possess and smoke marijuana.

The First Church of Cannabis, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Indiana and is a religious society with its principal place of business located in Indianapolis.

Cannabis sativa also known as marijuana or Cannabis, “the Healing Plant” is the first sacrament of the First Church of Cannabis; members believe it brings them closer to others.

According to the lawsuit, cannabis “is our fountain of health, our love curing us from illness and depression.”

NUVO attended the first services at the First Church of Cannabis and reported on IMPD’s massive presence and the installation of a surveillance camera across the street that very day. Hite's told the Star he won't comment.

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About The Author

Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck has been writing for NUVO (as well as several other Indiana publications) for nearly 20 years while moonlighting as a radio host. He became Managing Editor of NUVO in 2013. He's authored four books and also reports for WISH-TV's Boomer TV program.

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