Hundreds of marijuana users line up at Colorado stores as state becomes the first to allow sales for recreational use
- Thousands celebrate Colorado becoming the first state in America to legally sell marijuana for recreational use
- Across Denver, cannabis 'End of Prohibition Parties' got underway
- Sean Azzariti, 32, a former Marine and veteran of two tours of Iraq will become the first legal customer in the nation's history
- He has become the face of the legalization campaign after turning to marijuana to treat his PTSD
- So far, 136 stores have been granted licenses across the state to sell recreational cannabis
- 78 marijuana cultivation facilities have been licensed by the state
- The legalization is not universal - 33 cities and towns across the state opted out of the new laws
- But smoking marijuana in public remains illegal
- The most likely to pass that legislature next are Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont, experts say
By Laura Collins In Denver
PUBLISHED: 08:10 GMT, 1 January 2014 | UPDATED: 21:31 GMT, 1 January 2014
As a group they're not known for their get up and go, but hundreds of marijuana users stood in line before dawn as Colorado entered history as the first state in America to license the sale of the drug for recreational use today.
More than 200 customers stood in the snow before the doors of 3D Cannabis Centre, Denver opened at 8am and the first sale was made.
For some it was the continuation of the party that had started at midnight when, firing up bongs and cheering in a cloud of marijuana smoke, partiers celebrated as midnight passed and Colorado's Prohibition on Marijuana officially came to an end.
Damian Stasek, left, and Sterling Hamilton, right, celebrate being the second and third persons, respectively, to legally buy recreational marijuana at the BotanaCare store in Northglenn on January 1
Customer Adam Hartle smiles as he makes a cash transaction, one of the first to buy retail marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver
The line started in pre-dawn and grew far down the street before the Lodo Wellness Center, a pot dispensary in Denver, Colorado on January 1
Customers sniff marijuana samples at the Denver Discreet Dispensary in Denver, Colorado, in January 1, 2014
Mark Gordon (left) and Ryan Perry display their 'I Want Weed' t-shirts as they wait in line to be among the first to legally buy recreational marijuana at the Botana Care store in Northglenn, Colorado
In downtown Denver close to 600 supporters of Amendment 64 did so with an ‘End of Prohibition Party,’ - one of several that took place across the city - echoing scenes of the 1933 festivities that marked the end of alcohol prohibition in America.
Flapper girls danced, a swing band played and hundreds of balloons tumbled from the ceiling as, at midnight, a banner declaring: ‘Cannabis Prohibition is Over!' unfurled to roars from the crowd.
- New Year celebration of legalized marijuana stubbed out hours before planned party to celebrate relaxed laws was due to take place
- Mile-high Denver prepares to get higher: Colorado braced to become first state in America to legalise recreational marijuana at midnight
- Denver pot dispensary hopes to be 'the Apple store of weed' when Colorado allows recreational marijuana sales on Jan 1
Smoking marijuana in public remains illegal but, according to organizers David Maddenka, Executive Editor of The Hemp Connoisseur magazine and Brett Mouser, Founder and CEO of Mahatma Extreme Concentrates, this was a private party.
Back in 1933 the once forbidden liquor was consumed hungrily and excessively in newly legitimate Speak Easys.
Customers stand in line shortly after the opening of 3D Cannabis Center, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver at 8am on Wednesday
It may be harder to raise a toast with a spliff, bong or vaporizer but all were in evidence and the party balloons, and some of the guests, floated in air thick with the scent of weed.
'Cigarette girls' handed out free vaporizers - the electric cigarette of the cannabis world.
Police in the eight Colorado towns allowing recreational pot sales were stepping up patrols to dispensaries in case of unruly crowds
Denver International Airport placed signs on doors warning fliers they can't take the drug home in their suitcases.
Cheri Hackett, center, co-owner of the Botana Care marijuana store celebrates just before opening her doors to customers for the first time in Northglenn, Colorado January 1, 2014
Around 200 customers wait outside 3D Cannabis Center on January 1 to purchase newly legalized recreational marijuana in Denver, Colo., where promptly at 8:00 a.m.