Next time you swing by grandma's for some of her world-class oatmeal raisin, the cookies might not be the only thing that's freshly baked.
South Florida's all-powerful Social Security set has possibly had increased exposure to the wonders of medical marijuana thanks to a new informercial. Since November, "Should Grandma Smoke Pot?" has been running on a local TV stations. The spot comes courtesy of a familiar ex-weed pirate who's made activism his new game.
As New Times readers know, Robert Platshorn spent 30 years in prison for smuggling weed into South Florida in the 70s. Paroled in 2008, he's since been preaching a pro-pot gospel, especially targeting seniors who could get some benefit from the medicinal afterglow of the good green.
This interest launched Platshorn on his "Silver Tour," a series of events aimed at walking aged newbies through the basics.
"The live shows were great to get publicity to introduce the concept and perfect the message so it works," Platshorn tells New Times. "When I do a show for 200 people, 190 will walk up to sign petitions. And I'm talking about strangers -- not activists."
But the events took about six to eight weeks to put together. Plus, thanks to government harassment, Platshorn is on a tight leash when it comes to traveling. So he decided to package the legalization argument into a well-made infomercial.
The results combine expert testimony with a compelling argument -- much more informative and entertaining than you're usual fat burning shoes or celebrity cooker or whatever suspect ab sculptor Chuck Norris is hocking this week.
Plashorn says production costs landed in the "neighborhood of twenty grand," fronted by donations. The piece originally began running in Tampa in November, and since has aired locally on WHDT-TV in these parts starting in early February.
"Hopefully next week I'll book more time in Tampa and stations in Orlando. I'm also trying to get some stations farther up north. That's where we really need the help."
The strategy behind the infomercial is political. During this session, the legislature will see a bill introduced that would tee Florida up for a Colorado-style system of dispensaries. Platshorn was the benefits of medicinal use front and center before voters. For your viewing pleasure, it's below. Dive in.