Shalom Life | May 26, 2015

Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes

Class that welcomed cannabis usage at Aspen Community Center in Colorado quickly nixed

By: Shaleni McBain

Published: May 22nd, 2015 in Culture » Art » News

Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes

Photo: 'Midnight Toker' by Anita Toke

Credit: Tokin Art


A community centre in Aspen, Colorado had a dream to puff puff paint that quickly burnt out.

Cannabis-infused art classes scheduled for the Chabad Jewish Community Center in Aspen were canceled just a day after they were announced. The class, called “Art with Mary Jane,” encouraged participants to bring marijuana (which is now recreationally legal in the state) to consume during the classes. The class did require you to be 21 or older to join.

Suzanna Horwich, the director of arts programs at the centre, had cleared the class with law enforcement according to The Aspen Times.

One public official did not think highly of the news when she heard it. “That was a surprise to us,” said Debbie Quinn, assistant city attorney. Quinn reminded folks that Aspen’s municipal code prohibits any public or private club or business from allowing marijuana consumption on its premises.

Horwich pitched the idea not knowing if Rabbi Mendel Mintz would approve the event, or if she would lose her job.

“I want people to experience the joy of creating art with the guidance and instruction of a professional artist, and if they choose to indulge in a now-legal substance, why not?” she said in the event announcement. “Sometimes with the aid of marijuana it’s easier to follow your bliss while creating. Of course, it’s not required, and we welcome people just to come for a class.”

Although Horwich told The Aspen Times Thursday that the class had been approved, Rabbi Mintz said Friday that they got a little ahead of themselves.

“I think what really happened here is we just got a bit ahead of ourselves,” Mintz said on Thursday. “The idea wasn’t formally vetted and it didn’t have the full approval from everyone who I needed to get involved and that (Horwich) needed.”

The classes would have been available to those 21 years and older. It was based on a BYO system where participants could smoke or eat cannabis while painting.

The class also offered beer, wine soft drinks and snacks to keep those hunger pains at bay.

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