Florida: "Legalize Medical Marijuana" billboard targeting seniors
By CBS NEWS
MIAMI, FL - A South Florida man is setting out to promote the use of medical marijuana.
Billboards are popping up along Sample Road in Broward County that are targeting senior citizens.
The more ornate billboard says, 'Legalize Medical Marijuana. I'm a patient not a criminal' and another depicts an elderly person in a wheelchair.
Down the road, another billboard reads 'Reschedule Medical Marijuana, one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." CBS4's Cynthia Demos spoke with folks who drove by the billboard.
"For my family I don't like it," said Roseanne Alves.
"Marijuana is a gateway drug," said Zed Castro.
The billboards are the work of 69-year-old Robert Platshorn.
Platshorm said he spent 30 years in prison for smuggling marijuana, a substance he says can help people and shouldn't be illegal. He doesn't want others sent to prison for what he calls, 'not committing a crime', so he is trying to make it legal.
"The billboard is a way to bring attention to the cause," Platshorn said. In the four years he's been out of prison he started his cause, "The Silver Tour" to promote the legalization of marijuana for seniors.
"They have the time, the inclination and the need," he said.
Irvin Rosenfels, 59, is one of Platshorn's biggest supporters.
"It's different this time because the population has gotten older," said Rosenfeld, who is a stockbroker in Fort Lauderdale and one of the four people in the United States with a medical okay from the federal government to smoke marijuana.
"I am living proof it works," said Rosenfeld.
For 29 years, the government has paid for his marijuana, the 10 to 12 joints he smokes a day. Rosenfeld said he needs it to help control his bone tumors and it's saved his life.
"It can help millions of people," Rosenfeld added.
Tens of thousands of people will see the billboards every day for a month, and that is just the beginning of this campaign.
The two billboards together cost $5000 but Platshorn also does speaking engagements and before he went to prison he was a pitch man on TV for things like knives and other items. He plans to mix his talent with his passion and put together a 30 minute infomercial to air on cable TV.
"It's the best way to get our message out and really educate the senior population on how they can live a more comfortable life and stop relying on pills," said Platshorn.