Just in time to numb everyone’s New Year’s hangover, the world’s first state-licensed marijuana industry opened for business yesterday in the state of Colorado.
The change approved by Colorado voters went into effect with the new year, and roughly two dozen stores in Colorado have already begun selling weed to residents 21 or older.
Hordes of customers hoping to get Rocky Mountain High braved the cold, snowy weather and lined up outside the various marijuana outlets. Colorado residents can buy up to 1oz (28g) of pot, while those from out of the state can only purchase 0.25oz. And the drugs must be kept within the state’s borders. The Denver airport has already put up signs warning travellers not to smuggle the weed into the rest of the country. The cannabis can also only be smoked on private property with the owner’s permission.
Sean Azzariti, an Iraq war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from two tours in Iraq, was the first person to legally buy recreational marijuana in Colorado today. Azzariti, seen in the photo already looking high and somewhat terrified, purchased an eighth of an ounce of pot and some chocolate truffles laced with marijuana for $59.50.
Azzariti, who has campaigned to legalise marijuana, said the drug helps to ease his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he told US media. “It’s a huge stepping stone for other states as well, so it’s a huge honour, to say the least.”
Colorado has now officially become the first place in the world where marijuana will be regulated from seed to sale. Next up: Washington State… and Uruguay.