Church features image of Jesus smoking pot, offers members marijuana
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Two California churches that promote the use of marijuana are being investigated for being a front to illegally sell the drug.
Alongside pictures of Jesus inside the Coachella Valley Church, leaders claim cannabis is a sacrament and is being used for religious purposes.
KABC reports members can join the church for life with just a 10 dollar donation. Once members are checked in, they are able to enter the church and purchase marijuana.
After their purchase, they are brought into a chapel to watch a sermon on video.
Officials in the area say Coachella Valley and Oklevueha Native American Church are guilty of illegally selling cannabis without a permit.
"Whatever their followers want to smoke, that's not the issue," San Jose city attorney Rick Doyle told KABC. "It's the distribution and sale coming from the dispensary the church issue that just doesn't fly."
While all legal marijuana dispensaries pay 10 percent of their gross sales to the city, the churches are not paying any taxes.
A judge has signed an injunction for Oklevueha to stop operating withing 10 days and is expected to do the same for Coachella Valley.
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