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Veterans chosen as first 2 people to buy legal marijuana in Massachusetts

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Tuesday is the first day of legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts, and the first two buyers were specially chosen, according to the Boston Globe.

In Leicester, a shop called Cultivate, which sells both medical and recreational cannabis, will open its doors at 8 a.m.

Who did Cultivate choose as its first customer on the historic day? Stephen Mandile.

Mandile is an Army veteran, who served in Iraq, and advocate of medical marijuana. He plans to buy a quarter-ounce of marijuana as well as some edibles.

This is a powerful moment for Mandile who overcame a debilitating painkiller addiction by using marijuana to treat his PTSD, brain trauma and chronic pain, all of which he got during his service.

“I get to make history,” Mandile said to the Boston Globe. “It means a lot, and I never expected this would be the outcome of my advocacy — I was just trying to go about helping people. I’m pumped to break the stigma and the weird, scary aura people want to put around cannabis.”

Meanwhile, in Northampton, the city’s mayor will be the first to make the most of the new law at New England Treatment Access, or NETA.

David Narkewicz, in addition to being Northampton’s mayor, is an Air Force veteran. He plans to buy an edible and possibly a THC-infused chocolate bar.

“I’m proud to go to new businesses that create new tax revenue for the city and be there for their opening,” Narkewicz told the Boston Globe. “I’m not going to act any differently because the new business happens to be adult-use marijuana. It’s a legal business in our Commonwealth. If we’re going to destigmatize marijuana, it’s even more important that I be there and treat it like every other company. I’m honored to do it.”

The mayor is considering putting the edible on display in his office or donating it to a local historic group.


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