Since 1996, 16 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical pot. Colorado paid a portion of its budget shortfall in 2010 with taxes from cannabis dispensaries. But confusion still reigns around the country, with feds raiding farms and dispensaries in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

After watching seniors help defeat the pot-decriminalizing Proposition 19 in California, Platshorn realized that Florida needed to get the elderly onboard. With High Times and a local bong company among its sponsors, his Silver Tour has held five events since October, including the one at the Boynton Beach temple. He has brought the old-folks weed show to a women's club at Century Village in Pembroke Pines and the recreation center of his own senior community in West Palm Beach. The crowds have been earnest and increasing in size, always topping a hundred. Platshorn says that he now pays some of his expenses but that the tour — which accepts donations — is still in the red.

The Temple Shaarei event is a barnburner. Platshorn's speakers include Rep. Jeff Clemens, the Lake Worth Democrat who sponsored the House medical cannabis bill last March and who urges the seniors in attendance to spread the word during their card games. Also present is Irv Rosenfeld, one of a handful of Americans who receive federal medical marijuana, which helps him cope with a tumorous disease. Standing on the bimah under a Star of David, he waves his baggie of government green while lamenting the absurdity of law-abiding grandparents feeling paranoid about exploring their medical options. "There are people who aren't here today because they're worried about the DEA taking down license plates in the parking lot."

When he takes the pulpit, Platshorn says he plans to stage the same show on the floor of the Legislature in Tallahassee. "For the first time, we stand a good chance of getting something done in this state," he booms into a microphone, sparking hearty applause from the elderly audience. "You know, they told me it would never happen!"

In the meantime, old folks will still have to resort to skullduggery for their weed. One 84-year-old audience member and war veteran, who asked that he be referred to only as Shane, tells this reporter that he likes to take three puffs from a marijuana pipe after dinner to help ease the pain from his high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. When he recently moved from California, he brought a "considerable amount" of medical marijuana with him in his car. He was pulled over, but luckily the cop didn't search the vehicle. "I was shitting, to tell you the truth," he says. "I've never been arrested. That still sticks with me, how close I came to becoming a criminal."

His California stash is running low, which is why he scans the crowd conspiratorially. "I came here partly in the hopes that I might make a connection."

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3 comments
medical alarm
medical alarm

  A really helpfull post – A big thank you I hope you will not mind me writting about this article on my website I will also leave a linkback Thank you

Kargold
Kargold

Great article. Call your legislators and urge them to support HJR 353 and SJR 1028 and let and put the issue of safe and legal access on the ballot in 2012.

Lokal
Lokal

it helped my dad get through chemo.  

 
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