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Backers of Measure 80, which would legalize and regulate marijuana in Oregon, are making the rounds of mid-valley senior centers in an effort to win older voters to their cause.

“They are our voting population, and we don’t have enough of their support at this point. And it can benefit them the most,” said Rhea Graham of Albany’s Canna Kitchen and Research, which is sponsoring the events. The business makes tinctures, salves and other remedies for medical marijuana patients.

Graham will give three talks over the next several days to elderly residents in Albany, Lebanon and Corvallis, extolling the virtues of smokeless medical marijuana and attempting to win votes for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, listed as Measure 80 on the Nov. 6 election ballot.

Attendees will see two short films, “Hemp for Victory,” a U.S. Department of Agriculture production from 1943 that urged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort, and “Should Grandma Smoke Pot?,” which touts the benefits of marijuana for treating arthritis and other age-related complaints.

“Grandma” was produced by Robert Platshorn, a convicted dope smuggler-turned-political activist who is leading a “Silver Tour” marijuana legalization campaign in Florida that aims to enlist support from senior citizens.

Graham and Alexander’s pro-pot roadshow is scheduled to make three stops in the mid-valley over the next several days:

• 2 to 3 p.m. today at the Albany Senior Center, 489 Water Ave. N.W.

• 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at the Lebanon Senior Center, 80 Tangent St.

• 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. Monday at the Corvallis Senior Center, 2601 N.W. Tyler Ave.

Joining Graham at the two Monday events will be Beaverton marijuana activist Jennifer Alexander, who will argue that passing Measure 80 would save Oregon millions in law enforcement costs.

“Seniors are one of two demographics that are most likely to oppose legal marijuana, for both medical and recreational purposes,” Alexander said. “This event hopes to target that demographic with an open and honest conversation about marijuana.”

Reporter Bennett Hall can be contacted at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@gazettetimes.com.

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Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald

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