Medical marijuana has found its natural audience in Florida -- senior citizens. A big majority of the Sunshine State's older residents say they will vote yes this November on the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, which will appear on the ballot as Amendment 2. It would legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Florida.
Among those older than 65, a whopping 84 percent support the initiative, according to Quinnipiac University poll this spring, reports Florida Today. Support across all age groups is even higher, at 88 percent.
The same survey found that 62 percent of respondents ages 50 to 64 have admitted to smoking pot at one time, the largest of any demographic, according to Phil Ammann at SaintPetersblog.
To amend the state constitution, the measure needs at least 60 percent of the vote in November.
Floridians have come a long way in the past few years when it comes to knowledge about marijuana, according to Robert Platshorn, who hosts Meet the Experts medical marijuana seminars.
Interest in Florida medical marijuana is so high, March's Meet the Experts conference in West Palm Beach was sold out and dozens were turned away. The organizer told Hemp News he has had to move their next conference to a larger South Florida venue.
Businessmen, investors, doctors, lawyers, would-be dispensary owners, future medical marijuana growers and caterers flocked to the last seminar in West Palm Beach. Conference promoter and Silver Tour founder, Robert Platshorn, is hosting Meet the Experts II, on May 17, at the Emerald Hills Country Club, near Fort Lauderdale Airport.
"I felt bad at the last event, cramming in over a hundred and twenty people," Platshorn said. "But many who showed up ticketless, were stuffing hundred dollar bills in my pockets and pleading just to be able to stand in the back for 10 hours."
No surprise! Platshorn's lineup of speakers is a list of superstars of the marijuana industry. Discovery Channel's Mike Boutin, featured on "Weed Country," has grown medical marijuana for more than 30 years. Keynote speaker Ean Seeb is Chairman of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Along with his partner Kayvan Khalatbari they founded Denver Relief and Consulting, featured on 60 Minutes and considered the model dispensary for America. The partners are helping entrepreneurs in several states obtain licenses and establish successful businesses practices.
Next to ObamaCare, cannabis is the hottest, most discussed subject in the media. Twenty states and D.C. have medical marijuana, 14 states have decriminalized marijuana, two states have legalized it for everyone and several more states are poised to pass legalization laws.
Americans still have questions, and beginning on November 23, Cannabis Planet TV has announced it will be taking to the airwaves in a dozen cites with the information on all things cannabis.
Originally seen only in California, Brad Lane’s Cannabis Planet will be aired weekly beginning November 23. TV stations in Massachusetts, Louisiana, Florida, Texas and California will air a new show every week. More stations are being added daily. Cannabis Planet is entertainment with an emphasis on medical research, cannabis cooking, cultivation, cannabis celebrities and legalization advances in American and around the globe.
The first show features longtime federal marijuana recipients, stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, who gets free government pot to treat his tumors, and glaucoma patient Elvy Musikka. Interviewees also include Dr. Julie Holland, author of The Pot Book, and Mara Gordon, international medical cannabis expert. There will be holiday cannabis cooking tips from Chef Mike Delao, hemp tips and music by the Trevor Green Band.
Members of the Florida Legislature have shown that they aren't interested in legalizing medical marijuana. A bill to allow cannabis for medicinal purposes never got a hearing, and lawmakers enacted a new ban on bongs, for good measure.
But Florida residents want medical marijuana, according to recent polling, which shows 70 percent saying they would likely vote to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes through a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot, reports Maggie Clark at Stateline. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed gave medical marijuana a definite "yes."
Advocates in Florida who are trying to let voters decide the question for themselves could get a boost from a growing constituency of Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) who favor medicinal pot. In the Sunshine State, about 27 percent of the population falls into the 45 to 64 age range, almost identical to the national average of 26 percent. But Florida does outpace the national average in the number of residents 65 and older.
When marijuana prohibition ends in the United States, it just may come about because America's senior citizens finally woke up and demanded safe, effective medication to replace the pharmaceutical poisons they've been given for years.
That's the idea of the Silver Tour Lobby Day, when at least two bus loads of oldsters plan to descend on the Capitol on June 17. The buses, coming from the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic regions of the country, will be joined by carloads of like-minded sympathizers from as far away as Colorado and Ohio.
The seniors will visit D.C. to educate Congressional representatives on the medical benefits of cannabis and the need for marijuana law reform, reports Fire Ant at the Broward Palm Beach New Times.
Silver Tour organizer Robert Platshorn of West Palm Beach, 70, was a major marijuana smuggler in the 1970s; his Black Tuna gang brought tons of Colombian cannabis to American shores. Platshorn did more than 28 years in federal prison for smuggling weed. Since his 2008 release, he's crusaded to reform the marijuana laws.
Imagine, if you will, a hundred angry senior citizens storming Capitol Hill in partnership with college students, demanding safe access to medical marijuana. With your support, that could happen next month -- at a crucial time.
Plans are being made for the first-ever senior marijuana rally and lobbying event in Washington, D.C., on June 17. The event is sponsored by a partnership of The Silver Tour and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP).
The seniors will be in town to lobby the House of Representatives for passage of a budget amendment to prevent the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from enforcing federal marijuana laws in states with legal cannabis. It is expected to come up for a vote in late June.
"If passed, it opens the door for other states that are holding back on medical or legalization for fear of the feds," said Robert Platshorn, leader of The Silver Tour, who was featured in the hit Showtime movie, Square Grouper. The Silver Tour was recently spotlighted on Jon Stewart's Daily Show, CNN Money and on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
Florida lawmakers have passed a bill outlawing the sale of marijuana pipes.
The bong ban, HB 49, on Friday passed the Florida Senate on a 31-2, reports The Associated Press. The measure, which had already passed the House on a 112-3 vote, now heads for the desk of Governor Rick Scott for his signature.
Florida law currently allows stores to sell the pipes. Any sale of marijuana pipes would be a first-degree misdemeanor if Gov. Scott signs the bill into law. Second and subsequent violations would be a third-degree felony.
Recovering crack addict Rep. Darryl Rouson believes marijuana is a gateway drug to things like, well, crack cocaine (despite all the evidence to the contrary). He sponsored the bill to ban all bongs, glass bowls, roach clips, and other things that can used as devices with which to smoke pot, reports Chris Joseph at Broward Palm Beach New Times.
"If we can make people drive to Georgia and Alabama and South Carolina to get fireworks, they can drive to get these utensils of death," the overly dramatic Rep. Rouson said.
Robert Platshorn became the longest serving marijuana prisoner in United States history, doing almost 30 years in federal prison for importing Colombian pot in the 1970s. When he got out five years ago, Platshorn -- a weed warrior through and through -- didn't take the easy way out and opt for a quiet retirement. Instead, he took up the cause of medical marijuana, launching The Silver Tour to bring the good news about cannabis to senior citizens.
Platshorn did his time, and when he got out, he started trying to make the world a better place and to help sick and aging people. But last May, even though he'd been officially released from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Parole Commission, the federal government moved to silence him, ordering travel restrictions -- effectively, if temporarily, ending The Silver Tour.
That's where things have stood for almost a year now, but finally, Platshorn, a Florida resident also known as The Tuna (from his '70s smuggling group, The Black Tuna Gang), got some good news this week: permission to travel to state capitol Tallahassee to help push for medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.
Robert Platshorn wants to spread the good news about medicinal cannabis. Since late last year, the former pot smuggler -- who served almost 30 years in federal prison after the "Black Tuna Gang" was busted by authorities -- has been buying TV time on local stations for his infomercial aimed and senior citizens, Should Grandma Smoke Pot?
The 30-minute show aims to educate the elderly on the pros of medical legalization, and is an extension of Platshorn's popular "Silver Tour," reports Kyle Swenson at Broward Palm Beach New Times.
Having already successful bought airtime and aired the show on stations in the Tampa area and in South Florida, Platshorn was ready to crack the Orlando market on WKCF, a CW affiliate owned by Hearst Media. But the deal fell apart at the last minute when the station got cold feet about the infomercial's message.
"When we bought the time to start running in March, they were very happy to sell it to us," Platshorn said. Should Grandma Smoke Pot? was scheduled for six half-hour slots on WKCF, according to Platshorn, at a total price of about $2,200; the deal was signed on February 26.
MIAMI, FL - A South Florida man is setting out to promote the use of medical marijuana.
Billboards are popping up along Sample Road in Broward County that are targeting senior citizens.
The more ornate billboard says, 'Legalize Medical Marijuana. I'm a patient not a criminal' and another depicts an elderly person in a wheelchair.
Down the road, another billboard reads 'Reschedule Medical Marijuana, one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." CBS4's Cynthia Demos spoke with folks who drove by the billboard.
"For my family I don't like it," said Roseanne Alves.
"Marijuana is a gateway drug," said Zed Castro.
The billboards are the work of 69-year-old Robert Platshorn.
Platshorm said he spent 30 years in prison for smuggling marijuana, a substance he says can help people and shouldn't be illegal. He doesn't want others sent to prison for what he calls, 'not committing a crime', so he is trying to make it legal.
"The billboard is a way to bring attention to the cause," Platshorn said. In the four years he's been out of prison he started his cause, "The Silver Tour" to promote the legalization of marijuana for seniors.
"They have the time, the inclination and the need," he said.
Irvin Rosenfels, 59, is one of Platshorn's biggest supporters.
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town
Photo by Lance Draizin
We've pointed out before that one Florida man -- legendary former pitchman and marijuana smuggler Robert Platshorn -- may hold the key to cannabis legalization in the United States. The reason we say that is that skilled pitchman Platshorn has proven he can sway senior audiences to support medical marijuana, and most of us are aware, seniors vote in heavier numbers than any other age group.
Platshorn, through the Silver Tour, brings the truth about marijuana to senior citizens in Florida and nationwide, and one of the biggest events yet on that tour will take place on January 29 in Boyton Beach, Fla.
The show, "Learn the Real Facts About Medical Marijuana," will be free and all ages are welcome. It will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, January 29, at the Temple Shaarei Shalom in Boynton Beach.
Besides Platshorn -- the author of Black Tuna Diaries and director of NORML of Florida, who is featured in the hit film, Square Grouper -- the film Cannabis Science, which features Dr. Donald Abrams, Dr. Robert Melamede, and Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, among other medical marijuana experts, will also be screened.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- I sat there thinking, "Am I about to break the law?"
The thought crossed my mind as I watched Irvin Rosenfeld light up a joint and smoke it right in front of me.
The truth is, he's allowed to smoke marijuana. I'm not. The difference between you and I and Irv Rosenfeld is about 40 years of battling bone cancer and a major legal victory that he won against the federal government. He convinced the feds that he needed pot to live, that it helped him cure his cancer, that it wasn’t marijuana.
That it was medicine.
So, since 1982, Uncle Sam has been sending Rosenfeld a tin can stuffed with joints. He picks it up at the pharmacy every month.
Irvin Rosenfeld's story starts off our look at a growing fight to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. It’s a fight that’s gaining ground in South Florida, and the people who are pushing it say senior citizens may be the key to getting a new law passed.
Robert Platshorn is pot's biggest pitchman. He preaches the gospel of pot to seniors. He started the "Silver Tour." It's a traveling bus show that visits retirement communities in South Florida.
"All they knew was a free show and a free buffet, and then they said, 'Marijuana?'" Platshorn said. "'Marijuana? Did you bring any samples?'"
By Steve Elliott Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour
What if I told you there is a secret weapon that, if understood and utilized by the cannabis reform community, could fairly quickly and very decisively decide the issue of marijuana legalization once and for all?
Everybody knows that cannabis legalization is very, very near the tipping point in the United States. Even the folks at Gallup, not exactly known for wild-eyed political statements, said this month after examining their latest poll results -- which showed that a record-high 50 percent of Americans support legalization -- that "If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes."
Drilling down into the results of that same Gallup poll reveals our potential secret weapon for marijuana legalization.
Support for legalizing cannabis is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29, down to only 31 percent among those 65 and older.
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour
Almost every time a poll is taken on public levels of support for medical marijuana, one of the groups most resistant to the idea is one that stands to gain the most from it: senior citizens. If we, as a community, can find a way to educate seniors on the health benefits and palliative qualities of medicinal cannabis, it will be a huge step towards achieving the numbers it will take to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level. Seniors are known as the most powerful voting bloc in the nation, and they always show up at the polls.
That's where the legendary Robert Platshorn, the Black Tuna himself, comes in. Platshorn -- who started as a pitchman, became one of the biggest marijuana smugglers of the 1970s, and then spent almost 30 years in federal prison -- has taken on the job of informing his fellow senior citizens about the health benefits of cannabis.
The Silver Tour is the only organization reaching out to seniors about medical marijuana, according to Platshorn, and its work consists of informing them on ways to organize, petition and contact their local politicians to demand legal, safe access to medicinal cannabis.
Pitchman, businessman, and world traveler, Robert Platshorn, aka Bobby Tuna, has also served more federal time than any other non-violent marijuana inmate, having spent 28 years in federal prison. Platshorn has compiled his memoirs into his book, The Black Tuna Diaries, in which he tells his life story intermingled with his story of smuggling marijuana.
The book itself reads more like an adventure story than a collection of memoirs. Readers must remember that this is a true story, and not a fictitious compilation about bringing Columbia’s ‘Santa Maria Gold’ marijuana to America.
Woven through the smuggling tale is the story of Platshorn’s life as a boy in Philadelphia, growing up with the South Street Gang, on to the pitches on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, and the energy that pulsed through his life and propelled him in many business endeavors in the United States and abroad, legally and illegally.