A musky marijuana bouquet wafted into a south Denver neighborhood as 4:20 p.m. approached on 4/20.
The International Church of Cannabis, which claims marijuana as its primary sacrament, officially opened for services at 3 p.m. Thursday in a 113-year-old house of worship at 400 S. Logan St. in the West Washington Park neighborhood.
At 4:20 p.m., Elevation Ministries leader Steve Berke called on the approximately 70 congregants in the main sanctuary to join him in silence with their sacrament. As lighters flicked, pungent plumes rose from the wooden pews up into the rafters painted with rainbow-colored geometric designs.
“Happy 420!” he said when the moment had passed. “Now, introduce yourself to somebody you don’t know.”
A cheer went up from the crowd as “Hits from the Bong,” a stoner anthem by Cypress Hill, started to blast over the speakers. People shook hands, hugged and passed joints.
“We’re stoked,” Berke said later in an interview with The Cannabist. “So far, the day has been amazing and we’re excited to introduce ourselves to the community and our neighbors.”