A Lutheran church has stood at 400 S Logan Street in Denver since the early 1900s, but as of recently it become unoccupied. In April of 2017, the church was reopened as a place of worship for the followers of a brand new religion: “Elevationism,” dedicated to the spiritual benefits of cannabis.
It’s only fitting that the home of the International Church of Cannabis is in Denver, a city that is literally a mile high. The church’s overgrown, antiquated exterior is in striking contrast with its flamboyant technicolor interior, complete with a “WEED” sign, rows of pews to smoke on, and a neon rainbow of colors on the ceiling.
Elevationism does not have any specific dogma, nor does it require conversion from other religions, so long as its adherents recognize cannabis as a sacrament. Adherents “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.”
While many religions ban drug use, the International Church of Cannabis encourages it. Due to city law, however, cannabis cannot be used when the church is open to the general public, which occurs every Thursday through Sunday from 1-3pm.
The church was opened on April 20 (naturally) and is the only existing congregation for Elevationism in the United States thus far. Although local representatives attempted to block the church for “[tarnishing] people’s religious beliefs,” the amendment was quickly struck down as an infringement on freedom of religion.