Marijuana Church Opens in Denver

An interior view of the International Church of Cannabis in Denver, Colorado

An interior view of the International Church of Cannabis in Denver, Colorado

The International Church of Cannabis (marijuana) held its grand opening on April 20 (420) in Denver, CO. The number 420 is significant in the marijuana community, having become something of an unofficial holiday for marijuana users.  The church offers a meeting-place for those seeking a more spiritual kind of high.

The building is more than a century old and its exterior looks like many other churches built of brick. However, the stained glass panels do not have biblical images; instead they are decorated with colorful paintings of stars and planets with wide, cartoonish grins. Very little white is included in the interior of the sanctuary. The ceiling is covered with bright, intense colors; the colors and patterns seem to change constantly.

Church members call themselves “Elevationists” and refer to marijuana as “the sacred flower.” There is no specific dogma, but the church founders describes it as a place for those who “ritually take the sacred flower to find inspiration and meaning.” Someone who attends the church said, said, “It’s really just meditating and finding yourself. It’s kind of having your own mind and believing and going with it.”

Elevation Ministries, a religious non-profit, funds the Church. “We’re building a community of volunteers, and the common thread is that they use [marijuana] to positively influence their lives, and they use [marijuana] for spiritual purposes,” one of the founding members said.

There is one other know marijuana church. It is the First Church of Cannabis which opened in Indianapolis, IN, in 2015.

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