Initiative 300 and the International Church of Cannabis


Image via DP

A look inside The International Church of Cannabis. Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via The Cannabist

Bryden Smith, Counter Culture Reporter

4/20 might be extra hazy this year with Initiative 300 in place, Colorado’s new social-marijuana law.

Passed in November, the purpose of the initiative is to allow for certain businesses to obtain a permit allowing marijuana to be consumed on the property. Of course, the rules and restrictions are still being ironed out. Pot must be smoked outdoors and cannot be sold on premises; nobody under 21 would be allowed in, and the permit cannot coexist with an alcohol permit.

The dream of lighting up at the bar might be out of reach, but coffee shops, art galleries, yoga studios and yes, even churches can take advantage of the new law for an annual cost of $2,000.

For ‘Elevationists,’ this 4/20 is a very special day as The International Church of Cannabis opens its doors at 400 S. Logan Street. Elevation Ministries is a nonprofit organization that believes in using marijuana to accelerate one’s self-discovery. Unlike other religions, Elevationism “claims no divine law, no unquestionable doctrine, and no authoritarian structure.”

Critics of the church and concerned members of the nearby community think that the church is pushing the limits of Initiative 300, that the religion is just an excuse to get high. But Elevationist Lee Molloy tells The Cannabist: “if that were the case, this would be an expensive and inefficient way to get stoned.”

“We’re interested in building something larger here — a community that supports each other as we each discover our own paths… We’re entirely within our First Amendment rights to practice our religion in this building.”

The Church plans on celebrating their opening with a special three-day event called “Elevate 2017.” There will be open discussions on cannabis and comedic and musical acts, all to broadcast on Facebook Live.

It seems like every day is a little different in the state’s dynamic marijuana atmosphere. If you’re thinking about celebrating this Thursday, make sure to review Colorado’s laws and guidelines.