June 2005 - WASHINGTON - The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will sponsor a smoke-in to promote the group's campaign to legalize marijuana. The weekend event, called the Great American Pot Luck Festival, will be held at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, July 8-10. Sponsors include Grecian Formula, Cialis, Fixodent, Beano, Depends, and Correctol with Stool Softener.
AARP's chief executive officer, William Novelli, held a press conference in the group's Washington, D.C., office yesterday to publicize the event. Wearing a T-shirt that read "We Smoke and We Vote," Novelli told reporters, "People who think the AARP is a haven for old windbags that sit around comparing HMOs or discussing their bowel movements are in for a surprise.
"According to a recent survey, nearly three-quarters of our members use marijuana on a regular basis not only to alleviate pain from a variety of ailments but also to relax after the grandkids go home. We can no longer afford to sit around stoned while the government makes criminals out of our members."
Country music legend Willie Nelson will headline the festival, which will be hosted by Woody Harrelson. Among the other performers scheduled to appear are Bette Midler, Santana, Chicago, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Rod Stewart, The New Jefferson Starship, Tony Orlando, Ringo Starr, the Fire House Polka Brigade, and Close to You, a Carpenters tribute band.
In addition to the stellar entertainment lineup, the festival will feature arts-and-crafts workshops, bingo tents, lottery and term life insurance machines, and vendors offering the finest in gluten-free rolling papers, marijuana suppositories, pressure-free roach clips, and other paraphernalia.
AARP is also sponsoring a pot luck cooking contest open to anyone attending the festival. Entries will be judged on their creative use of marijuana in a casserole, stew, or dessert. A lifetime subscription to AARP Magazine, formerly known as Modern Maturity, will be awarded to the winner. The contest will be judged by Tommy Chong, Snoop Dogg, Ricky Williams, and Robert Downey Jr.
Novelli said he expects more than 50,000 people to attend the festival. The campground will open Monday July 11 at noon. Advanced life support and Medivac units will be available through the weekend, as will free blood-pressure monitoring and diabetes screening. Concerts will begin promptly at 4:20 each afternoon. All activities and rest rooms at the festival will be wheel chair accessible.