PotSmokingGranny01.jpg
Steve Elliott has an old, wrinkled, democratically-motivated weapon up his sleeve.

And he says it holds the key to getting marijuana legalized in America.

That

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Steve Elliott, Seattle Weekly Pot Columnist, Reveals the 'Secret Weapon' to Legalize Marijuana

PotSmokingGranny01.jpg
Steve Elliott has an old, wrinkled, democratically-motivated weapon up his sleeve.

And he says it holds the key to getting marijuana legalized in America.

That weapon: Old people.

Elliott, who writes the Tuesday "Toke Signals" column for Seattle Weekly and is the editor of the "Toke of the Town" pot blog is, let's just say, something of an expert on cannabis (and not just smoking it either).

He writes on his blog today:

Support for legalizing cannabis is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29, down to only 31 percent among those 65 and older.

Now, let's think about that for a moment. One of the age groups which would most directly and immediately benefit from marijuana legalization would be our senior citizens. Acquainting seniors with this fact, and energizing them politically to support legalization, could hasten the arrival of legal cannabis by years.

Elliott's idea that the elderly may hold the key to getting marijuana legalized is apt. Indeed in the 2010 elections senior citizens (who make up only 13 percent of the population) accounted for 21 percent of the electorate.

Targeting elderly voters has been a tried-and-true method of winning elections and passing laws for decades.

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Jacek Gancarz/Miami New Times
Robert Platshorn, a.k.a. Bobby Tuna
One of the main tools in getting old people to vote in favor of marijuana legalization is a man named Robert Platshorn, Elliott says.

Platshorn, a.k.a. Bobby Tuna, is a 64-year-old traveling salesman, famous pitchman, and convicted felon, having served 29 years in federal prison for helping to smuggle some 500 tons of Colombian pot into the United States in the 1970s.

Platshorn is out of prison now and is speaking out to his fellow grayhairs about pot legalization through a traveling speaker series called the Silver Tour.

Robert Platshorn has the demonstrated ability and the desire to "sell" marijuana legalization to millions of seniors who might have never considered medicinal cannabis.

"I can organize and get people who would not normally expose themselves as activists, to take action," Platshorn told me. "I know how to do this and get results in a very short time.

Whether Platshorn and others can win over the country's stubborn supply of senior citizens into thinking that the stuff they were warned about in Reefer Madness is actually a valid medicine for things like glaucoma and appetite loss (as well as being generally awesome and safer to use than alcohol) remains to be seen.

But no political effort has ever been wasted by targeting old voters.

 
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