Robert Platshorn Wants It Legalized

Robert Platshorn, with his grandfatherly appearance, West Palm Beach address and affable, trained pitchman demeanor, would seem an unlikely sort of marijuana activist, but he knows of what he speaks. Now a published author (Black Tuna Diaries), public speaker, and outspoken activist for NORML, he is only three years removed from the longest prison term ever handed out for a non-violent pot smuggler: 64 years, of which he served 29. Released from prison in 2008, Platshorn, a Philly-born-and-raised former pitchman, threw himself into what he considers his most important work: Making the sale and distribution of marijuana legal and safe in the U.S., and reforming the draconian drug sentencing laws that very nearly took his life. The new documentary film Square Grouper tells Platshorn's story -- as well as two other high-profile cases of the wild times of South Florida pot smuggling in the mid-'70s.

Describe your film in a single tweet.
A true, unbiased account of the wild days of the marijuana smugglers in South Florida in the 1970's.

What's a good log-line for this movie?
Cheech and Chong meets Cocaine Cowboys.

What three films would Netflix recommend from someone who enjoyed this?
Blow, I actually met some of those same people. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and any George Carlin stand-up.

Should you drink (or legally smoke) before or after the film?
Before and after.

And should you have a medical marijuana prescription, what should you have?
A new strain called Jack Herer.

Should you see this movie alone or with friends?
With as many people as possible because this film will change a lot of minds about our criminal penalties for marijuana. That was my purpose in agreeing to be part of this film. I knew if the story were told honestly, people would put a different face on it.

Square Grouper will screen tonight at the Painted Bride Art Center at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the venue.

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