Bill Levin

Bill Levin, founder of the First Church of Cannabis, is planning to seek the 2020 Libertarian Party nomination for Indiana governor.

Marijuana legalization definitely will be an issue in next year's Indiana gubernatorial election if First Church of Cannabis founder Bill Levin makes the ballot.

The "Grand PoohBah" of the Indianapolis-based marijuana-themed church revealed Monday that he's planning to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for governor.

"Surprise!" Levin said on Twitter.

Levin founded the cannabis church in response to Indiana's controversial 2015 "religious freedom" law.

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While church members, known as cannaterians, cannot legally use marijuana in religious ceremonies, the church's Levin-crafted "Deity Dozen" beliefs largely mirror the Libertarian "live and let live" philosophy.

Hoosier Libertarians will select their 2020 statewide candidates next spring at a party convention. Levin ran as a Libertarian in 2014 for an Indiana House seat and garnered nearly 11% of the vote.

Rex Bell, the 2016 Libertarian candidate for governor, won the backing of 3% of Hoosier voters to finish third behind Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Democrat John Gregg.

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Financial Affairs Reporter

Dan has reported on Indiana state government for The Times since 2009. He also covers casinos, campaigns and corruption.