We Need The Support Of Senior Citizens

The Silver Tour Aims to Educate Florida's Seniors About Medical Cannabis

Robert Platshorn is a pitchman, cannabis activist, a senior himself and former cannabis smuggler, who was once accused by the government of smuggling 1 million pounds of cannabis into the country. Platshorn was convicted as part of what was called the Black Tuna Gang, and was sentenced to 64 years in prison, the longest sentence in history for a non-violent cannabis offense. After serving 30 years in prison, Platshorn has regained his freedom and is now pitching the benefits of medical cannabis to seniors across the United States. Not long after being released on parole, after getting a new parole officer, his right to travel as part of his cannabis legalization activism was restricted by the government. So Platshorn is focusing on live Silver Tour events in Florida, and spreading his message throughout the nation on television.

Failure of Prop 19, California's Legalization Ballot Initiative, Inspired Creation of the Silver Tour

“I started the Silver Tour after Prop 19 in California, which was for full legalization, failed to pass the vote by about 6%, and California had had medical marijuana for 15 years, and I wanted to find out why it failed. And it turned out, I looked at the exit polls, and it was strictly seniors who had voted against it. And in a by-election year, seniors make up as much as 90% of the voters in many districts, and that's something that's going to be critical in Florida. But, there was no other reason, and I wondered why seniors voted against it, that's my generation, we invented marijuana, as it's known today. And I found out that even in California, the vast majority of seniors had no idea of the medical uses for cannabis. And they'd thought it was just something that might have been good for glaucoma or chemotherapy. So, I was a little amazed by that, and I found out that no one was speaking to seniors, there wasn't a single organization in the country that had ever tried to educate seniors or speak to them. And I saw that something needed to be done, otherwise the legalization movement would lose a tremendous amount of its momentum.”

Senior Voters Key To Passing Amendment 2

“You need the senior vote, so I started the Silver Tour. And the Silver Tour is a non-profit, supported by donations, and we teach seniors the benefits of medical marijuana. And now they've become very receptive, that wasn't true a couple years ago, but because of our TV show, Should Grandma Smoke Pot? and our live Silver Tour shows where we bring a doctor, and patients, and a nurse, and we've put up billboards. Our TV show has been shown all over the country, and it was even featured on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. The Wall Street Journal put the Silver Tour on the front page, and CNN did a special, so we did an awful lot to bring seniors out of the closet.”

Refuting the Sheriffs Association's Wild Mischaracterizations of Cannabis

“What worries me is that in California, the anti-marijuana people were able to scare seniors into voting no, simply by putting up a slogan that said, “you already have enough drunks on the road, you don't want stoners.” And that was enough - seniors scare easily. And in Florida, we've got the Sheriffs, who actually represent the drug companies, the private prisons, and a lot of other self interest groups that put money in and don't want to see marijuana legalized. We've got the Sheriffs using the same kind of scare tactics, and the same kind of false messages. There's nobody out there refuting it. The United For Care people, John Morgan, they want to spend 5 or 6 million bucks to try and pass Amendment 2, but they're not going to directly refute the Sheriffs messages, and they're not aiming at turning out the senior vote in their favor, because their entire campaign was based on getting out the youth vote, which doesn't normally come out in by-elections, only seniors really vote in by-elections. And they felt that by doing that they could ensure that Charlie Crist would be elected as Governor, and of course they only need 51% of the vote, but we need 60% of the vote to pass Amendment 2. I believe when it comes to talking to seniors, it's the Silver Tour that knows how to do it, and I know how to do it. So I'm planning to run a saturation radio campaign in the month of October, in all 19-radio markets in Florida. Radio is the right media, because you've only got 19 markets, and in most markets there are only 1 or 2 stations that our demographic listens to when they're driving in the car, or at home, so it's very easy to target and reach the audience we need to talk to. I'm really afraid that if we don't reach seniors in large numbers, that Amendment 2 might be defeated.”

Using Small Contributions to Reach Florida's Seniors

“This campaign is supported by donations, and we don't have nearly enough. I can reach this whole state and cover for under $150,000, and that's a fraction of what United For Care and the Sheriffs are all spending on this campaign.” In promoting the Silver Tour, Platshorn mentions research conducted at Florida universities showing how medical cannabis could help treat Alzheimer’s disease, and research conducted at a university in Ohio, those who use cannabis get Alzheimer’s at a much lower rate than those who don't. Another study Platshorn mentions shows how highway fatalities have gone down in medical cannabis states, and that it is expected that insurance rates will go down for cannabis users, because they are generally better drivers.”

Check back for Part 2 of our interview with Robert Platshorn

For more information about the Silver Tour go to: www.thesilvertour.org

To donate to the Silver Tour go to: http://thesilvertour.org/support-silver-tour

To watch Should Grandma Smoke Pot? Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln3xVhf8mXw