The International Church of Cannabis (ICC) opened its doors wide to its congregation of spiritual followers for 4/20. Almost anyone will recognize this as a significant day for marijuana smokers. Now, those who attach spiritual significance to the cannabis high will mark it as the day their church was consecrated.
Where 420 originated from is a mystery. Some legends say that it dates back to a gathering of hippies in a parking lot in the 90’s. It was just before a Grateful Dead concert, and deadheads handed out flyers calling for legalization.
Others say that five friends, collectively known as the Waldos, coined it. In 1971, the Waldos got word of a plot of marijuana plants that was no longer attended by the Coast Guard. The Waldos decided to hunt the treasure down. They would meet at 4:20 every day at the statue of Louis Pasteur before setting out on their hunt. The friends sought the rumored cannabis patch for days, driving around in a ’66 Chevy Impala. They never actually found what they were seeking, but they did invent the code word 4:20.
Wherever it came from, it became an international cannabis day when weed smokers across the globe celebrate by smoking it up. The New York Post looked into the spiritual aspect of the celebrations, and what it would entail for those worshiping at the Denver pro-smoking sanctuary.
Church of Cannabis is ready to celebrate
The beautifully decorated chapel is geared for the weekend of 4/20. It will receive “Elevationists” looking for a “higher” purpose on life. Together, they will enjoy the moment with like-minded individuals who claim no divine authority, no hierarchy, and no organized structure.
That means that anyone can join in, no matter what their religious beliefs may be. The only thing members of the congregation need to have in common is respect for cannabis.
A beautiful space
The beautiful chapel in the city’s West Washington Park community is 113 years old, and has been undergoing a facelift since 2016. It even showcases the work of world famous painter Kenny Scharf of Whitney and Guggenheim fame.
Spokesperson Briley Hale said the congregation feels privileged to be the custodians of such a beautiful space. They are happy to have found a place with a spiritual history to use for spiritual purposes. Should it have been left unoccupied, it would have attracted vandals and vagrants instead of worshipers.
A first and the biggest
Once the chapel of the ICC opens its doors, it will be the largest cannabis church in the world. CEO Steve Berke says the church is excited about introducing this wonderful story to the world. This church is the first venue of its size where adults can come together and legally use cannabis in a socially acceptable environment. He added, “It is true history being made.”
Gimmick or not?
While it is true that many people attach a spiritual significance to cannabis, one wonders how serious Church of Cannabis founders may be. The chapel will certainly provide a haven for cannabis supporters, but the ethos seems more secular than spiritual. The story of the cannabis chapel is amusing to some, but others may see it as being disrespectful to “genuine” religions.
Will the church contribute to cannabis’ image, or will it detract from it? What’s your opinion?