Meet the International Church of Cannabis, the newest addition to Denver’s vibrant weedscape. The church is a non-profit and the world’s first large venue where cannabis smokers are allowed to toke legally and with the full constitutional protection of freedom of religion.
Art and Spirituality Beyond Belief
Not surprisingly, the church opened its doors on April 20th, 2017 in Denver after considerable media buzz and and a number of legal roadblocks. It is a religious organization that makes use of marijuana as a sacrament, but does not follow a specific doctrine. Painted with bright, rainbow-colored frescoes by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel, the church is housed in a 113-year old building. On the exterior you’ll find a mural American street artist Kenny Scharf. The church is situated at 400 South Logan Street in the prestigious West Washington Park neighborhood of South Denver.
Denver’s New Church of Cannabis aims to be a lively community center, with more than 800 members of its congregation. It serves as a spiritual abode to adults everywhere who experience fellowship and deeper meaning through ceremonial weed. The belief system has a name, “Elevationism”, but its tenets are loose and adaptable to a wide range of spiritual pursuits.
As stated simply on the Church of Cannabis’ website, “Church members use the sacred flower to reveal the best version of self, discover a creative voice and enrich their community with the fruits of that creativity. Unlike other belief systems, there is no need to convert to Elevationism. It claims no divine law, no unquestionable doctrine, and no authoritarian structure.”
Visiting the Church of Cannabis
As a tourist, you will not find any marijuana sales or any accessories related to the drug in the place, but you will get a chance to smoke a joint with others if you attend any of the private events or member’s only church services. One can become a member by going to www.elevationists.org. In addition, you will also get to enjoy the view of brightly colored fresco-style ceilings – giving the place recognition as the “Sistine Chapel of Weed” – and a breathtaking ambiance. There is no way you won’t fall in love with place and the harmony it offers to visitors and members alike.
Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in 2012 and has ever since been fine-tuning its laws. Although smoking in Denver’s public spaces is illegal, legislators are still working to legalize the usage by leaving the decision up to neighborhood associations. Of course, not everyone was happy with the idea of weed-smoking in a church, especially the neighbors who are concerned about this new presence in the tight-knit and family-oriented neighborhood of West Washington Park.
Due to strict laws about public social consumption spaces in Denver, visiting and partaking in the sacrament takes some planning. The church is open to the public from 1-3pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. In order to participate in a church service (held on Friday nights), you must sign up as a member through the website in order to receive an invitation to the private event. You can also get in touch with My 420 Tours to arrange a private tour as part of a complete cannabis-themed Colorado vacation package.
Church of Cannabis Weddings
Another interesting thing to note about the International Church of Cannabis is that it is poised to offer matrimonial services and ceremonies, with special emphasis on its acceptance of LGBTQ unions. Ever since it’s opening in April, many people have been asking the church to host marriage ceremonies, so the Elevations Ministry has already begun booking wedding celebrations for the 2017-218 season. To inquire about having your wedding at the International Church of Cannabis, please call (303) 800-5644. At present, wedding packages are being offered through the Church of Cannabis’ Indiegogo fundraising page, where hopeful candidates can avail a discounted price of $4,200.
Take Me to Church
Whether you are in favor of the Church’s practices or not, you cannot deny that it is a masterpiece and a brave new addition to the art scene in Denver. So, if you are looking to appreciate high-quality art or just want to get high with friends while contemplating life, then Denver’s new International Church of Cannabis is definitely the place for you!