Iraq War Veteran With PTSD Becomes The First Person To Buy Weed Legally In Colorado

Sean Azzariti is America’s first retail marijuana customer.

1. This is Sean Azzariti. At 8 a.m. MT on Jan. 1, he became the first person in the U.S. to buy weed from a legal marijuana store in Colorado.

Azzariti with his marijuana and receipt following the transaction at Denver’s 3D Cannabis Center Wednesday.

4. Azzariti served as a Marine in the Iraq War and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He now works as a marijuana activist in Denver.

Azzariti became Colorado’s first legal weed purchaser through his connection to the Marijuana Policy Project, a group of activists who led the campaign to pass Amendment 64, which makes weed sales legal in the state.

Azzariti appeared in a TV ad last year discussing how marijuana would help alleviate his symptoms with PTSD. Despite efforts, only seven states have passed legislation that allows those suffering from PTSD to obtain medical marijuana legally. Colorado is not one of them.

Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

Sean Azzariti smiles as he makes a cash transaction, the first to buy retail marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center.

8. Statement from Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project and co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign:


“Millions of adults use marijuana in the United States, but only in Colorado will they be purchasing it from regulated businesses instead of in the underground market. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and Colorado is the first place in the country to start treating it that way.

“Making marijuana legal for adults is not an experiment. Marijuana prohibition is the experiment, and the results have been abysmal. If we can successfully regulate alcohol, we can surely regulate a less harmful substance like marijuana. Colorado is going to prove that regulating marijuana works, and it won’t be long before more states follow our lead.”

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