United States: The Secret Weapon That Can Get Marijuana Legalized Nationwide
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.
Now, let's think about that for a moment. One of the age groups which would most directly and immediately benefit from marijuana legalization would be our senior citizens. Acquainting seniors with this fact, and energizing them politically to support legalization, could hasten the arrival of legal cannabis by years.
Right now, seniors in two-thirds of the U.S. -- 34 states -- don't have the option of using medicinal cannabis, even with a doctor's recommendation. National legalization would clear that roadblock out of their path quickly and effectively, so that senior citizens across the land could experience the palliative and curative properties of marijuana.
Now, if only we had a pitchman -- preferably, someone in the senior demographic -- who could bring that message to the over-65 crowd!
That's exactly where Robert Platshorn and the Silver Tour come in.
Platshorn is one of the few remaining old-school "pitchmen" in America -- in fact, I'd be comfortable saying he's likely the best pitchman in the country today. That's what he did for a living, in fact, for years. "Bobby Tuna" can sell an idea like nobody else, and we in the medical cannabis movement are lucky enough to have him on our side.
There is no more motivated spokesman than Platshorn; the guy served a brutal 29 years in federal prison on marijuana smuggling charges after having been convicted for bringing in tons of Colombian Gold in the 1970s. That makes him the longest-serving pot prisoner in U.S. history, so far.
And, with The Silver Tour, Platshorn already has the template in place to change senior's minds and open them up to the wonderful possibilities of cannabis legalization.
What's the Silver Tour? It is, quite simply, the way we can win over our Secret Weapon -- America's senior citizens -- to the cause of marijuana legalization.
"Last week's show in West Palm Beach confirmed the success we saw in Fort Lauderdale three weeks ago," Platshorn told Toke of the Town on Saturday. "At least 90 percent of the audience (all strangers to medical marijuana) leave the show with the intention of contacting their representatives to demand 'safe legal access' NOW. We provided letters, addresses and phone numbers to use in support of our state bill and Barney Frank's bill.
Robert Platshorn has the demonstrated ability and the desire to "sell" marijuana legalization to millions of seniors who might have never considered medicinal cannabis.
"I can organize and get people who would not normally expose themselves as activists, to take action," Platshorn told me. "I know how to do this and get results in a very short time.
"I have people pleading with me to bring The Silver Tour to almost every state," Platshorn said.
But, as we all know, taking that show on the road requires considerable cash -- and that's how you can help get this thing done.
Until now, Platshorn has provided almost all the seed money for The Silver Tour from book sales of his gripping autobiography, Black Tuna Diaries.
Federal medical marijuana patient and fellow Floridian Irvin Rosenfeld, author of My Medicine, has helped out by selling one of his tins in which the feds send him 300 ready-rolled joints every month.
"I was naive enough to believe that once I could show the type of results that no one else could match, the money would come flying in," Platshorn told me. "Wrong."
"NORML, one of our sponsors, is proud to take credit as a sponsor of The Silver Tour, but gives no funding and can't even provide enough literature for my audiences," Platshorn told me. "My local NORML of Florida chapter paid for our projector and provides volunteers for the events.
"Our other sponsor, High Times, provides great PR and they keep me from starvation, as most of my book sales take place at their Cannabis Cup events, but they haven't raised a cent or offered to do any fundraising," Robert told me.
At this point in our movement's history, it would be a tragic and incalculable loss to let The Silver Tour die on the vine -- when the senior vote could put us over the top!
If you want to keep The Silver Tour alive, to help Robert Platshorn keep educating seniors about medical marijuana and how it can become a reality coast to coast, maybe it's time to dig deep and show your support with a donation.
Look for the "Donate" button over on the right; or if you prefer, a physical mailing address is also given where you can mail checks or money orders:
The Silver Tour (www.thesilvertour.org)