RELIGION

Congregants, protesters gather for 1st service at Indiana's First Church of Cannabis

  • The First Church of Cannabis, established to test Indiana's new religious objections law, will have its first service at noon without marijuana in Indianapolis, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. First Church of Cannabis founder Bill Levin called off plans to light up during the service after local authorities threatened to arrest violators. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    The First Church of Cannabis, established to test Indiana's new religious objections law, will have its first service at noon without marijuana in Indianapolis, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. First Church of Cannabis founder Bill Levin called off plans to light up during the service after local authorities threatened to arrest violators. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • A sign welcomes visitors to First Church of Cannabis for its first service at noon in Indianapolis, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The first service will be without marijuana. Founder Bill Levin called off plans to light up during the service after local authorities threatened to arrest violators. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    A sign welcomes visitors to First Church of Cannabis for its first service at noon in Indianapolis, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The first service will be without marijuana. Founder Bill Levin called off plans to light up during the service after local authorities threatened to arrest violators. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • First Church of Cannabis Founder Bill Levin lights candles on the alter during the church's first service, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Indianapolis. Levin said he decided to keep marijuana out of Wednesday's service to ensure he can test the Indiana religious objections law in civil court instead of on criminal grounds. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    First Church of Cannabis Founder Bill Levin lights candles on the alter during the church's first service, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Indianapolis. Levin said he decided to keep marijuana out of Wednesday's service to ensure he can test the Indiana religious objections law in civil court instead of on criminal grounds. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

Dozens of people wearing shirts with tie-dye or images of marijuana leaves have gathered at a pot-smoking Indianapolis church that was formed as a test of Indiana's new religious objections laws.

But participants in Wednesday's inaugural service at the First Church of Cannabis were planning to celebrate the gathering without their illegal sacrament, days after authorities threatened arrests if the congregation lit up during the rites.

Neighbors who object to the church and other critics point out that marijuana is illegal in Indiana and say the church isn't a good fit for the neighborhood.

Church founder Bill Levin says he decided to keep marijuana out of Wednesday's service to ensure he can test the religious objections law in civil court instead of on criminal grounds.