|Robert Platshorn, legendary smuggler and marijuana legalization proponent.|
Florida voters today will decide whether or not to legalize limited amounts of marijuana for medical use. While the measure initially polled well, it’s approval has fallen in recent weeks and supporters say they need every last vote they can muster — notably that of the state’s large senior population.
With such a possible historical swing in the offing, we decided to touch base with one of Florida’s biggest proponents of marijuana reform, a guy who’s truly given his life to the cause: Robert Platshorn. But even Bobby Tuna himself is iffy on the amendment’s chances.
“At this point, I think it’s 51 percent we will, and 49 percent we won’t pass amendment two,” Platshorn told New Times Monday afternoon. “I’m concerned because of the way the polls have yo-yoed up and down. And the fact that the no campaign was able to run what was virtually a Reefer Madness campaign.”
Platshorn, you might remember, was one of the principal guys behind the Black Tuna Gang, the major importers of Colombian pot in the 1970s. In 1979, he was arrested and handed a jail sentence that would eventually stretch to 2008 — the longest jail sentence for pot smuggling in US history. Since his release, Platshorn has been an active speaker and advocate for medical marijuana.
For the last four years, Platshorn has been pitching medical marijuana to senior citizens with his Silver Tour, an informational speaking series aimed at dispelling misconnections. This is the key demographic in the medical marijuana passage in Florida, he argues; Platshorn feels the campaign funded by lawyer John Morgan and organized by United for Care’s Ben Pollara missed an opportunity.
More at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.