War Vet With PTSD First to Purchase Recreational Marijuana in Colorado

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marijuana colorado saleOn January 1, lines wrapped around buildings as marijuana retailers became the first in the world to lawfully sell marijuana in Colorado. At the front of the line was Sean Azzariti, a war veteran who, like many others that come back from active duty tours, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. For one reason or another, he had not been able to get marijuana under the medicinal program, but was able to walk out of 3D Cannabis Center with a bag of pot and a sweet marijuana-laced treat.

“Today I was fortunate to be the first recreational cannabis purchase in the world,” Azzariti tweeted. “We did it!”

Since becoming the first to purchase legal marijuana, Azzariti has become something of a cannabis celebrity, invited on talk shows and interviewed for magazines and newspapers.

“Starting to get a little nervous/anxious about my appearance on the @ArsenioHall show tomorrow,” he tweets, followed by listing the marijuana strains he is hoping will help quell his anxiety.

Azzarati says he is a “former marine” and “current marijuana activist”. He served six years in the corps and two tours in Iraq. When it comes to PTSD, Azzarati is far from a unique case.

While getting an accurate picture of how many veterans suffer from the condition, it’s been estimated that at least 20% of veterans who have served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from the symptoms. Counselors working for the military say that number is likely low.

Read: 5 FAQs About Marijuana in Colorado

PTSD is a mental disorder that is triggered by an extremely fearful situation, like war. This fear is implanted in the brain and the veteran may feel on edge and frightened long after they have come home and long after the threat is gone. The condition is fingered as a significant contributor to the rate of suicide among war veterans. And, it can be successfully treated with the help of marijuana.

For Azzarati, marijuana has been an effective treatment. He says it quells the symptoms that would otherwise cause him serious anxiety. On January 1, he walked out of the dispensary with an eighth-ounce of “Bubba Kush” and a marijuana-laced truffle.

The recreational marijuana laws in Colorado are such that you don’t need to have a medical condition to partake in pot. But they also make it easier for people who want the therapeutic herb to gain access without traveling through the red tape of a medical marijuana program.