Around 50 people gathered Sunday in south Lansing, Michigan for the debut of a new church: The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason.
The gathering was the first kick-off for what organizer, Jeremy Hall hopes will become monthly meetings celebrating the spiritual properties of cannabis.
He says that he intentionally chooses the word “spirituality.” The church has no specific ideology, no texts or prophets to speak of.
A Tennessee transplant, Hall and his wife, Regan, moved to Michigan in part because of legal medical marijuana. Outside of being a marijuana caregiver, Hall is an ordained minister who hopes church members will help to change perceptions about marijuana users.
“We’re using our church to elevate the community and to show we aren’t a drain on society or a bunch of unmotivated criminals,” he added.
The church has already handed out fans and water to people during hot summer days and gave out 100 hygiene kits to attendees for distribution to those in need.
Some in attendance used cannabis beforehand, while others looked on sober.
East Lansing resident Kevin Kesseler was drawn to the debut service by curiosity. Without a medical marijuana card, the 47-year-old wasn’t allowed to try the baked goods and joints, referred to as “religious materials,” that were available in a nearby room. His interest in marijuana is research and commercial-based.
Kesseler is launching a new project,involving Predictive Analytics, to conduct testing on marijuana so that it can one day be understood and prescribed by doctors.
“The current system doesn’t allow for commercialization at the drugs stores or pharmacies until more testing is done,” he said.
Other than the one protestor armed with a sign saying marijuana was about the money for sellers, not helping people with health problems, Hall said he’s received nothing but encouragement.
“The reaction from the community has been extremely positive so far,” he said.