Robert Platshorn, “the longest-serving, nonviolent marijuana prisoner in American history” rarely wastes any of his time holding a grudge against the federal government that imprisoned him, but even he has his limits.
I talked to Platshorn about his past, present, and future.
“The television show has been aired over 150 times as paid programming on commercial TV stations in Oregon, Arkansas, Texas, and on five different stations in Florida. It’s also airing on Public Access TV in several states, and will soon be on the Mass. Public Access network.
“It’s reached a couple of million mainstream voters who’ve never seen a scrap of information on the benefits of medical marijuana and generated thousands of letters and emails to lawmakers in almost every state.”
“Although our target audience is seniors, the majority of fans and viewers span the entire age spectrum.”
A year or two ago, seniors would not even discuss marijuana. That has changed radically as a result of The Silver Tour being on TV, and getting featured on The Daily Show, the front page of The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Daily Beast, and dozens more media outlets in America, Europe, Australia, Israel and Asia. Now you see senior articles in the New York Times, Huffington Post, local newspapers, and even the AARP website.
In Florida where the senior vote is essential, many lawmakers are no longer reluctant to support medical marijuana. Two years ago, I addressed a meeting of lawmakers and only one was willing to file the first ever bill in Tallahassee. He had no co-signers. This year ,that same man, Senator Jeff Clemens, has a companion bill in the house and co-signers for our bill, The Cathy Jordan Medical Marijuana Bill.
One way or another, I am convinced we will have medical marijuana in Florida by the end of next year. If not by legislature, then by petition and ballot.
I asked Platshorn if he held any resentment toward the federal government for what they did to him, and more recently, with his parole officer for not allowing him to travel.
“Life would be miserable if I lived in the past. I want to enjoy my remaining years.”
“More important, I’ve come to realize how important it is to provide safe legal access to this amazing medicine. Most especially for seniors. Not to mention, ending the insane incarceration of millions of Americans.”
“Yes, I deeply resent not being able to enjoy the fruits of my labors for legalization with my brothers and sisters who have also worked for the same goals. I should have been in Boston with you this year, in Colorado for the victory, and at the (High Times Cannabis) Cup with so many friends I’ve come to love in the past five years.
“It’s only natural, the feeling of being wronged, when one’s parole officer with his own agenda can so completely destroy the simple hopes that Lynne [Platshorn’s wife] and I harbored for a few remaining happy years together. Yet, I refuse to let resentment of the government stop me in my work, not for a second.”
Platshorn relies on donations to air his television program. Donation information is available at thesilvertour.org.