Azzariti bought the modest stash at 8 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2014, at the 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, making him the first customer of a government-regulated recreational cannabis store in the United States.

As the Marine Corps veteran and marijuana advocate made his historic purchase that day, a circle of frantic reporters wielding microphones and cameras closed in around him. Azzariti, who says he has PTSD after two tours in Iraq, beat back an upwelling of panic and reached for the bag, flashing a nervous, goofy grin in the glare of the TV lights and camera flashes. (That image would later be immortalized in a painting that went viral on Reddit.)