Pot smokers in Denver, Colorado have converted a former Lutheran church into the International Church of Cannabis, which is being billed as the first large venue in the world that allows cannabis to be legally consumed in a social environment.
Members of Elevation Ministries, who call themselves "Elevationists," are planning for the official grand opening of the cannabis-themed church just in time for the "high holiday" of April 20.
The ministry says that the church at 400 S. Logan St. will "offer a home to adults everywhere who are looking to create the best version of themselves by way of the sacred plant."
"Our lifestance is that an individual's spiritual journey, and search for meaning, is one of self-discovery that can be accelerated with ritual cannabis use," the website states, according to AOL News.
"Elevationists claim no divine authority, nor authoritarian structure, therefore, those of all religious and cultural background are welcome to visit our chapel and take part in our celebrations," it continues.
The 113-year-old church has been redecorated with murals depicting bizarre figures and collages, and it also has an art garden patio for "grillin' and chillin'."
The venue will be hosting events, including documentary screenings, musical performances, guest speakers, artists, and comedians, but it will not sell marijuana or accessories, according to Russia Today.
The group has started an online campaign to raise $100,000 to make the church accessible to people with disabilities, such as wounded warriors.
Some local residents expressed concern about how the group would use the church. They forwarded their concerns to Denver City Councilman Jolon Clark, who has admitted that he still does not know what to make of the International Church of Cannabis.
Church founder Stever Berke maintained that the members are not "just a bunch of lazy stoners getting together to get high," adding that they want to have a positive impact in the community.
He said that the church will be responsive to the residents' concerns regarding noise, parking, and marijuana consumption.
While Colorado law does not ban or permit marijuana clubs, many have been opened because tourists wanted a place where they can smoke cannabis legally.
Lawmakers are still considering a bill that would let local governments decide whether to ban or allow social pot clubs.