Worshipers of pot will soon have a place to pay their respects as The International Church of Cannabis plans to open its doors in Colorado on April 20, allowing self-described ‘Elevationists’ to consume the “sacred flower” in a congregation.
Described in a promotional video as the “first large venue in the world where adults can legally consume cannabis in a social environment,” the 113-year-old redecorated church near Washington Park, will allow attendees to “take the sacred flower to find inspiration and meaning.”
“We were looking at condos and apartments,” landlord Steve Berke told KUSA. “Then ultimately, a group of my friends convinced me to keep this as a community church, but with a little different angle to it.”
Decorated in murals depicting bizarre figures and collages, along with an art garden patio for “grillin’ and chillin’,” the church believes “one can find the path to spiritual fulfillment through the ritual use of cannabis,” according to Berke.
The non-profit organization plans to open on April 20, referencing the numbers 420, beloved of cannabis smokers. Local residents have mixed feelings about the new church. Speaking to KUSA, Cat Vielma said she hopes its new owners will ensure many of the residents who have lived in the area for 50 years will be respected.
Berke dismissed concerns, claiming the congregation were not “just a bunch of lazy stoners getting together to get high,”claiming they want to have a positive impact on the neighborhood.
Marijuana or accessories will not be sold at the church, which will host events including guest speakers, artists and comedians.
Help is needed though, as the building comes equipped with a boiler described as a “dinosaur,” requiring a replacement at a cost of $65,000. Disabled Elevationists are also unable to access the upper storeys of the church due to the lack of elevator, prompting an appeal from the church for funding.