The International Church of Cannabis — Denver, Colorado

Colorado is one of my favorite states.

It’s home to the Avalanche (who absolutely should’ve beaten VGK last week) and the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains, I was speechless. Literally. That has never happened to me ever again — just ask anyone. This state has some phenomenal restaurants, an outstanding B&B that I never wanted to leave, and Boulder is at the top of my list if and when we ever move away from Wisconsin. Colorado, I love you.

And you know what else is cool about CO?

Weed.

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

Okay, so it isn’t such a Coloradan novelty these days. Nationwide legalization is just around the corner and marijuana use is really not that big of a deal to most people.

The Mile High City has taken legalization to the next level and thoroughly embraced cannabis culture. There’s even a church dedicated to the herb.

Welcome to The International Church of Cannabis.

note the stunning street-art facade painted by Kenny Scharf

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a church that is dedicated entirely to enjoying and experiencing the spiritual effects of cannabis.

The Elevationists, as church members are called, look for guidance and spiritual enlightenment with the aid of ‘the sacred flower,’ opening their hearts to self-discovery and the search for meaning. It’s not a dogmatic religion — no divine law, no doctrine, no conversion missions — just herbal rituals in a relaxed environment to help you reach your higher self. All religions are welcome at the Church of Cannabis and celebrate however they feel comfortable.

“The International Church of Cannabis’ mission is to offer a home to adults everywhere who are looking to create the best version of themselves by way of the sacred plant.”

Honestly, it sounds kinda great.

And the artwork inside the church? Magnificent. The outrageous prismatic geometric design on the walls and ceiling were painted by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel. Just looking at the artwork is enough to inspire a religious awakening.

Plan an evening visit to the church to experience BEYOND, where you can partake the sacrament, meditate, and watch the mesmerizing light show while listening to classic rock.

the BEYOND light show in action

Elevationism is an add-on to whatever religion the members prefer. Christians, Muslims, whatever, they’re all welcome here. As long as visitors are over 21 (there are still laws about this stuff, after all) they’re welcome to partake and open their minds in this supportive, safe environment. You don’t need to convert, adhere to any certain belief system, or sign away your soul. You just keep on doing you.

Tourists are welcome, too. Play classic arcade and video games between BEYOND shows, admire cool memorabilia in the lounge, and snap unique photos of the world-class art.

You don’t have to be high to enjoy this one-of-a-kind cannabis sanctuary.

Despite the outrageous colors and easy jokes, Elevationists take this journey to self-discovery quite seriously.

Religious use of marijuana is not new. Major religions have used the herb to help reach enlightenment for centuries — notably, Hindus have consumed cannabis-containing bhang during the Holi festival for the last 3,000 years. Cannabis use is only now becoming more acceptable in modern American culture, after centuries of prohibition. There’s still a long way to go in the path to acceptance, and it’s my belief that organizations like Elevationism does help move things forward.

Personally, I’m not a huge smoker. It’s just not my “thing.” I do, however, love the idea of a non-religious church dedicated to self-guided self-discovery — especially when it takes place in a colorful, positive way by a rainbow of people who join hands to enjoy a non-denominational sacrament.

How refreshing!

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