Reefer Roadshow Sells Oldsters on Medical Pot

'Silver Tour' hits Florida retirement communities

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 29, 2012 5:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – After serving nearly 30 years in federal prison for his role in a marijuana-smuggling ring, Robert Platshorn is still pushing pot—but this time it's political. The 69-year-old has founded a group called the Silver Tour that aims to convince seniors of the benefits of medical marijuana, the Wall Street Journal finds. "Nobody in the marijuana movement is talking to seniors," who are more likely than other groups to vote against legalization, says Platshorn, but "seniors are the only damn people that go to the polls."

Platshorn says he founded the group after speaking to fellow seniors whose medical conditions could be eased by medical marijuana but who had no access to it. The Silver Tour's roadshow, featuring doctors and other professionals, has recently been touring retirement communities and places of worship in Florida. After a presentation at a synagogue, one 83-year-old retiree said she had gone from thinking marijuana was a menace to wanting to get some. "I have pain in my back, so it would be nice," she said. "Damn it to hell, I want to try it once in my lifetime."

 Only 0.4% of Americans over 65 use marijuana, according to a 2009 study, but 6.1% of those aged 50-54 use it.
Only 0.4% of Americans over 65 use marijuana, according to a 2009 study, but 6.1% of those aged 50-54 use it.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
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