By Stephen C. Webster on January 02, 2014

An Iraq War veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) became the first American to purchase "legal" marijuana on Wednesday morning.

Coloradoan Sean Azzariti, a U.S. Marine who campaigned for legalization in his home state, bought an eighth of an ounce of Bubba Kush from the 3D Cannabis Center as dozens of cameras captured his stunned reaction. In addition to the Bubba Kush, Azzariti purchased a marijuana-laced truffle for a grand total of $59.74.

The receipt from Colorado's 1st recreational marijuana purchase, in the hands of customer Sean Azzariti. #canabistco pic.twitter.com/GverNC5KVq

-- John Ingold (@john_ingold) January 1, 2014

"Today I was fortunate enough to be the first recreational cannabis purchase in the world," he later wrote on Twitter. "We did it!!"

Azzariti, who served two tours in Iraq, suffers from a symptom of PTSD called hypervigilance, which is alleviated by marijuana. He appeared in an especially hard-hitting ad for legalization, telling fellow Coloradans: "Marijuana helped me from the moment I started using it. It calmed me down, slowed my heart rate down. My anxiety was almost gone immediately."

The drug is now available at 37 different licensed shops in the state.

"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 Policy Project spokesperson Mason Tvert said in an advisory. "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."

This video is from Colorado Springs-based KKTV, aired Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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