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.
Mary Lynn Mathre, RSN, MSN, CARN and Al Byrne, LCDR (USN Ret.), both of Patients Out of Time, will be on hand as well. Mathre edited the book Cannabis In Medical Practice. Patients Out of Time provides the only AMA accredited cannabis continuing education courses for physicians, nurses, lawyers and caregivers, administered by The University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.
Irv Rosenfeld, a prominent Florida stockbroker whose life was saved when he became the second patient to receive 300 medical marijuana joints each month from the federal government and the author of My Medicine and a director of Patients Out of Time, will be there in person to tell his story.
Michael Minardi, J.D., who has dedicated his practice to defending the wrongfully accused, will explain how you can get safe legal access to medical marijuana.
"It will be held in a Reformed Temple," Bobby Platshorn, the "Black Tuna" himself, explained to Toke of the Town Monday morning. "The national Reform movement has called for legalization of medical marijuana for many years. We will have the backing of the Temple's Rabbi and clergy from Palm Beach and other counties."
"As you know, we now have a Senate companion bill for medical marijuana in Tallahassee, to go with Jeff Clemens' bill in the House," Platshorn told us. "Additionally, the bill now has co-sponsors. The Legislature will be in session when we do our show.
"My talents as a pitchman will ensure that this show will generate hundreds of calls and letters demanding that legislators move these bills to the floor immediately," Platshorn said. "We will supply, collect and mail these signed letters in bulk. We will also supply phone contacts and encourage visits to legislators.
"This is our best shot at moving forward NOW," Platshorn said.
Platshorn has already raised enough to cover the barest basics, he told us, so the show will definitely go on. But he said he needs about $3,000 more "to do this right."
"The funds are needed for PR, ads, printing, travel, presentation material and most important, a printed program with health information that every attendee can take home and show to others," Platshorn told me. "It is very important that everyone has something to take away, hold on to and action."
Sponsors will be included in the program and those who contribute $500 or more will receive one of medical marijuana patient Irvin Rosenfeld's federal medical marijuana cans with the federal prescription label. These cans have been auctioned at fundraisers and sold for anywhere from $420 to $2,000, according to Platshorn.
Thousand-dollar contributors will also have their banner prominently placed to take advantage of national press coverage, Platshorn told me. CNN has asked to send a crew for special coverage, and at least two local TV stations have said they want to attend. The local, Village Voice Media-owned Broward-Palm Beach New Times (sharing the same parent company as Toke of the Town) has committed to do a feature story on the event.
The auditorium holds 500 people; let's not allow any of those spaces to go to waste.
"Volunteers are needed," Platshorn said. "And of course all donations of any amount are welcome and appreciated."
If you want to put your money where it has an excellent chance of making a real difference in the marijuana legalization debate look no farther.
To donate, visit The Silver Tour website (www.thesilvertour.org) and click the "Donate" button over at the right.
You can also send checks to The Silver Tour; 254 Lake Constance Road; West Palm Beach, FL 33411.
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