Cannabis has been well documented and incorporated into many of the world's historical faiths, from Bahá'í to Hinduism to Rastafarianism.
Now, modern-day 'Elevationists' will soon have their very own place of spiritual worship. The International Church of Cannabis is opening its doors next week in Denver, Colorado on the highest holiday of the year - 4/20.
A 113-year old Christian church in the Washington Park neighborhood of Denver has been converted into a cosmic-themed psychedelic enclave by a non-profit religious group called "Elevation Ministries."
What are "elevationists," you might ask? Allow Lee Molloy and Steve Berke, both members of the young faith, to explain it to you in their own words:
“Elevationists believe that one can find the path to spiritual fulfillment through the ritual use of cannabis...”
“Our... stance is that cannabis is a sacrament and that we use it to elevate our lives and achieve the best versions of ourselves that we can be.”
Elevation Ministries has launched an IndieGogo campaign to finance the renovation of the old, partially dilapidated church building.
While other American groups have launched similar pro-cannabis churches, Elevation Ministries plans to turn their "International Church" into the "...first large venue in the world where adults can legally consume cannabis in a social environment."
While most American churches are austere, gray and sterile, the inside of the new canna-church is decorated with incredibly trippy murals all over the walls and ceilings, designed to stimulate the cannabis-infused minds of its Elevationist worshippers.
Though many in the local community are enthusiastic about the prospects of the new cannabis church, some are understandably weary. One resident who has lived on the same street as the new church for most of her life said:
“I hope they’re respectful of neighbors and folks who have lived 50 years on this block..."
Others are skeptical that the church will fall in line with the city's social-use cannabis regulations.
Amidst all the curiosity, enthusiasm and concern, this new Elevationist church is certainly a sign of changing social attitudes towards cannabis and those who make use of it in their day-to-day lives.
Check out the campaign video for the International Church of Cannabis below: