Colorado’s recreational marijuana stores make history

Story highlights

NEW: Denver mayor says pot shops, buyers behaved "responsibly and with great accountability"

Pot buyers at one shop come from Canada, Australia, Italy, Hawaii, Alaska

700 people in line take numbers at another pot shop, but can it serve so many?

"What's going on?" a curious passenger asks; "Legal pot sale!" a man in line replies

Denver CNN  — 

Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti described his purchase of recreational marijuana – legally – as a historic moment Wednesday.

“It’s huge,” he said at a marijuana store along a light industrial corridor outside downtown Denver. “It hasn’t even sunk in how big this is yet.”

Indeed, before the 3D Cannabis Center opened at 8 a.m. MT, more than 100 people were waiting in snowfall and cold under gray skies to be the next buyers of recreational pot under a landmark law voters approved in 2012. The dispensary was one of a handful that opened to lines of waiting people on New Year’s Day, with scores more expected statewide in coming months.

Do you smoke pot? Tell us about it

Azzariti was selected to be the first buyer at the 3D Cannabis Center because he was a Marine from 2000 to 2006 who now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder after two tours in Iraq. He can’t obtain medical marijuana in Colorado because PTSD isn’t a qualifying condition for that treatment, he said.