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Help Needed: Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director August 1, 2012

    Here is yet another example of a federal government that will twist and turn in the most constitutionally offensive manner to continue to justify Cannabis Prohibition. In a country with a sacredly held First Amendment and a self-evidently failed public policy like seventy-five years of Cannabis Prohibition, trying to silence a citizen—who spent nearly thirty years of his life behind the government’s prison walls for Cannabis Prohibition-created ‘crimes’—from both criticizing the now unpopular government policies surrounding cannabis and prohibiting him from educating willing senior citizens (and even American Bar Association members!) about cannabis as a safe, affordable and efficient (and in 17 states and the District of Columbia legal) alternative medical option to conventional pharmaceuticals (which are often dangerous and expensive as compared to naturally occurring cannabis).

    This is just patently wrong.

    Thankfully, led by NORML Legal Committee members Michael Minardi and board member Norm Kent, Robert has very aggressive and competent legal assistance to regain his freedom of speech. But, Robert indicates a need for us all to contact the U.S. Parole Commission and ask that they respect Robert Platshorn’s ability to speak and travel freely in America without fear of federal government reprisals.

    This man has done his time, he is not breaking any laws, he believes that Cannabis Prohibition policy is bad public policy, people want to hear him speak based on his life’s experience with the policy. In America, no citizen should fear talking publicly to other citizens about public policy, most especially failed and unpopular ones.

    Allen,

    Please get the word out as wide as possible about the federal government trying to stop me from exercising my First Amendment rights to talk publicly about the public policy of Cannabis Prohibition. I was to speak before the national convention of the American Bar Association on Aug. 4th. It would have been a milestone for ending cannabis prohibition. And then the call came, “You are not to travel to promote legalization of marijuana without the express permission of the U.S. Parole Commission in Wash. DC.” This is not a legal condition of parole. It’s a First Amendment violation. If you value your right to free speech, read, act and share. Make a phone call for freedom.

    Robert’s federal parole officer, Scott Kirsche, phoned and rescinded his ability to travel to speak to a premiere gathering of American lawyers, prosecutors and judges; a prime public audience, a group of citizens integrally involved in the machinery of Cannabis Prohibition law enforcement extend an invitation to be educated by a citizen ill-effected by an unpopular public policy, and the federal government moves to stop this transfer of human-to-human information.

    This is so wrong for so many reason.

    Talk about the ‘genie being out of the bottle’, as Robert Platshorn’s crusading educational campaign to south Florida seniors about the need to reform cannabis laws has already been prominently featured in major news outlets over the last three months including the Wall Street Journal, NBC affiliate in Miami and soon to air Comedy Central Daily Show feature that is going to rightly ridicule the federal government for trying to silence Robert Platshorn.

    Think the feds are feeling heat on ending Cannabis Prohibition? You bet when they try to stop people from simply talking about the failed public policy.

    Kirsche to Hirshorn:

    “I am ordered by my superiors [Reginald Michael and Frank Smith] to inform you that your permission to travel to Chicago is rescinded and you cannot travel to promote the legalization of marijuana without the permission of the U.S. Parole Commission in Washington D.C. You must request their permission directly.”

    Correspondence to the U.S. Parole Commission may be sent to:

    U.S. Parole Commission
    Isaac Fulwood, Jr., Commissioner
    90 K Street, N.E., Third Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20530
    (202) 346-7000 (p)
    Media Contact: USPC.media@usdoj.gov

    46 Responses to “Help Needed: Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn”

    1. Retired Navy says:

      He should skype his presentations.

    2. […] more: Help Needed: Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour's Robert Platshorn … Useful […]

    3. Brad says:

      What’s the chances we can video conference him into the conference so he can still be heard? I think we could raise enough money in a day or two to fund that… just need a TV, PC and internet connection.

    4. Joel: the other Joel says:

      Let Robert Platshorn speak!

      He’s the real expert on the affects of public policies caused by the Cannabis Prohibition.

    5. Douglas says:

      This should be sent to all right wing radio talk show . Since they are all ways crying about how we are losing our first amendment lets see what they will do. Ant way this just show yall what I have been preaching about soon marshal law will happen on us.

    6. sam says:

      I need a puff

    7. Patrick says:

      Called, Semi rude lady answered.

    8. Sam says:

      Can’t we get him on a projector and a webcam so he can still speak remotely?

    9. Sam says:

      I think the silver tour continuing from home, on a projector and a 2 way webcam would raise more attention to not only the violation of first amendment rights, but also make the major news and could be chalked up for a win for legalization. I mean that would really piss off alot of Americans, about our overbearing big brother. Would turn alot of votes for us

    10. Sheila Janca says:

      Without even stating my personal feelings on cannabis legalization, regulation, and taxation (oh, I think I just did)… this is about our FREE SPEECH in OUR Constitution! Does this matter to you anymore…or are you throwing it out JUST to further your own prejudiced agenda?! This law-abiding AMERICAN, proud wife of a retired military veteran of 26 years…. is SICK and TIRED of our citizens being treated like CRIMINALS when we have REAL dangers out there… VIOLENCE and HARMFUL DRUGS, not plants…. Stop abusing YOUR POWER, our Constitution, our Citizens, our FREE SPEECH, our ability to make RESPONSIBLE decisions without MOMMY and DADDY’s permission. YOU are the ones that FORCE us to use your FDA man-made chemicals that are constantly being recalled after being approved as SAFE!!! This has never, NEVER been an issue with cannabis. What is the problem… is the tobacco industry STILL that deep in your pockets?
      People like you should not be in a place of authority, especially on this issue. Are you a chemist, a politician….ABUSE OF POWER. If he is not LEGALLY violating his parole (not “legally” as in making something up), leave him alone! He has served his “time”, and you have harmed our economy long enough with your wasting of our tax money throwing “innocent” or “LOW risk” citizens in PRISON! People such as Robert Platshorn, I’d vote for him as President…. doesn’t seem like our current one can keep his word on leaving LEGAL, CARD-CARRYING medical marijuana patients alone (yet, he lives in a district where no one messes with them…odd…). If they legally have a card… hear that word? LEGALLY! Leave them alone!!! I’m sick of the double standards, and for keeping my mouth shut as I see our freedoms RAPIDLY falling away. STOP IT! Please.

    11. […] Help Needed: Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn Here is yet another example of a federal government that will twist and turn in the most constitutionally offensive manner to continue to justify Cannabis Prohibition. In a country with a sacredly held First Amendment and a self-evidently failed public policy like seventy-five years of Cannabis Prohibition, trying to silence a citizen—who spent nearly thirty years of his life behind the government’s prison walls for Cannabis Prohibition-created ‘crimes’—from both criticizing the now unpopular government policies surrounding cannabis and prohibiting him from educating willing senior citizens (and even American Bar Association […] […]

    12. Pissed Off American says:

      What the hell is wrong with us in this country? Since when do we allow anyone in our gov’t to do this,

      “You are not to travel to promote legalization of marijuana without the express permission of the U.S. Parole Commission in Wash. DC.”

      WTF America! Is Hitler alive and well in the U.S.? Wake up people before we are all slaves to this gov’t.

    13. Anonymous says:

      This is the same reason most of us are afraid to post here ( fear of Government ).

    14. Lakota Mom says:

      Since his Freedom of speech is being violated, he should seek the support of the Civil Liberties Union… and file a violation of is Civil Rights w/ the Feds.

    15. Galileo Galilei says:

      Be sure and inform the folks in Chicago who do attend just exactly what’s going on. Encourage them to write about it, too.

      Maybe they could video his talk and play it in Chicago and elsewhere the meetings occur. That ought piss the prohibitionist Feds off.

    16. he should do webinars set it up like any business would wouldnt that piss them off

    17. Galileo Galilei says:

      Kirsche to Hirshorn:

      “I am ordered by my superiors..”

      He was just following orders, just doing his job.

    18. Warren Osborn says:

      Retired Navy has an excellent idea. Robert should do it all online if possible, then dare them to put him away for exercising his right to free speech. They can restrict his travel but not speech. Execute them if they still insist on being NAZIs.

    19. […] Aticle 2 – Help Needed: Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn Here is yet another example of a federal government that will twist and turn in the most constitutionally offensive manner to continue to justify Cannabis Prohibition. In a country with a sacredly held First Amendment and a self-evidently failed public policy like seventy-five years of Cannabis Prohibition, trying to silence a citizen—who spent nearly thirty years of his life behind the government’s prison walls for Cannabis Prohibition-created ‘crimes’—from both criticizing the now unpopular government policies surrounding cannabis and prohibiting him from educating willing senior citizens (and even American Bar Association members!) about cannabis as a safe, affordable and efficient (and in 17 states and the District of Columbia legal) alternative medical option to conventional pharmaceuticals (which are often dangerous and expensive as compared to naturally occurring cannabis)……read full article Rate this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

    20. Stephen Sunkle says:

      Why is this not being thrown all over the face of the fed in the U.S. Supreme Court. Clearly their not just after the first right of Robert Platshorn but eventually the first right of ever last person in the U.S. The feds think they can bash, eliminate, mash, poison, silence, stomp, and wither; How can they ,our bodies are still protected by our constitution. Ever one stand up and get out and conquer the DEA, the FDA, the fed.

    21. David says:

      VOTE LIBERTARIAN…PASS THE WORD…EVERYWHERE! OUR GOOD LIVES DEPEND ON IT…

    22. Denver WMD says:

      They will never silence the voice of the voiceless!

    23. Biff Clinton says:

      F the Feds

      It’s time we tell Washington DC and their goons and old money sycophants to take a long walk on a short pier

    24. Biff Clinton says:

      JURY NULLIFICATION refuse to find guilty anyone who is on trial for cannabis related issues.

      Defeat them in the courts with JURY NULLIFICATION

    25. Navy_CPO says:

      I agree with Navy Retired. NORML can simply thumb their noses at the Feds by providing this guy with the Skype connection and media setup on the other end he needs to talk to anyone in the world. Appreciate that you are trying to get folks worked up, but this is not a First Amendment issue. I am a Legal Medical user, I’m on your side. I just think you’ll lose credibility on this one. e.g. “Whining Liberals”. Try to do a better job of courting the Conservative constituents instead, such as myself.

      [Editor’s note: Whining?? 1) The ABA is holding the conference Mr. Platshorn was invited to but the feds will not let him attend…NORML can’t Skype him into a third parties’ conference. That call is the ABA’s, not NORML’s. You should rightly contact the ABA and ask them to Skype Mr. Platshorn into their own conference. 2) Rather than unnecessarily trying to make Robert Platshorn’s oppression by our government a partisan thing, how don’t you understand that the federal government commanding an otherwise free citizen where they can travel, who they converse with and what topics are acceptable for public discourse not a violation of the First Amendment??

      How can you defend the government here??

      One would think that self-described conservatives, and any freedom-loving citizen in America, would care about this kind of abuse of governmental power in trying to stop a public discussion about an unpopular and long-failed public policy.

      Before you consume any more cannabis medicinally today, please contact the US Parole Commission, stand up for personal freedom and support Robert Platshorn’s First Amendment rights to travel, speak publicly about bad laws and to associate with whom he chooses.

      You’d want NORML and Robert to do the same for you if the government was oppressing you too, right?]

    26. sweet says:

      our government is broken and twisted. This is not what our founding fathers had in mind. how long will the most heavly armed country in the world put up with it ? The government is a bully and needs stopped. maybe some anger management classes for them. Wake up america

    27. jeff bloking says:

      if we don’t remove the machine that is our government,we will continue to be repressed.term limits so these lifers can’t sit on their thrones and reap in millions at liberty’s expense.

    28. ChronicNeckPain says:

      is there a way to send a strong message to the DOJ without them tracking your headers and adding you to their “list” or “database”

      I have so much contempt for the DOJ, how can I possibly write them? Writing them is giving them consent to retain their power.

      I tried to send one message proxied off a foreign SMTP server and they won’t send mail to US government domains. So I didn’t get any message to them.

      Do you see the dilemma here?

      I need to have a voice, but not at the expense of becoming a target myself.

      The problem is these guys have broken their oaths of office, they need to be ARRESTED FOR TREASON, not impeached. (impeach implies consent)

      Everything from banksters, and war all the way down to cannabis could be solved if these oath breakers were arrested.

    29. The government is so fucked up how can they not allow someone the freedom of speech that is just disgusting! Its funny how this is not big news its unbelievable!

    30. Andrew says:

      i have always told people that “We (USA) are the bully of the world” now it is seen more and more every day that we the people are pushed around just as anyone else is and our government shows us brilliant displays of their power so that we remain compliant and complacent

    31. Galileo Galilei says:

      @Editor and Navy_CPO

      “I am ordered by my superiors [Reginald Michael and Frank Smith] to inform you that your permission to travel to Chicago is rescinded and you cannot travel to promote the legalization of marijuana without the permission of the U.S. Parole Commission in Washington D.C. You must request their permission directly.”

      So as I read this, he had already received permission earlier, and he’s now being expressly forbidden to travel ANYWHERE if he promotes the legalization of marijuana. This implies he could travel if he didn’t promote its legalization.

      Is it a common condition of parole to limit what someone can say in public?

    32. […] Help Needed: Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn via NORML […]

    33. […] Feds Seek To Silence Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn [continued] […]

    34. dave says:

      I, agree with F the feds. the goverment as usal is fighting a war there not winning and be like a spoided rotten kid and won’t this man go to this meeting and speak. What ever happened to fredom off speech? the goverment is crooked vote for Ron Paul.

    35. Navy_CPO says:

      In response to the editor’s note on my last post, I did not imply “you” are a whining liberal, but that the conservative base can too easily spin this specific issue that way.

      I expend a great deal of effort reminding fellow conservatives that freedom for freedom’s sake is righteous. However, this issue is regarding a parolee. A parolee does not have the right to unrestricted travel, but he is free to speak on any topic he wishes.

      I concede to your point about a third party. If ABA wants him to speak, they will allow a Skype connection. Yes, NORML can pick up the tab for that if ABA will not otherwise.

      That the NORML legal team is asking folks to make some noise with the Parole Board tells me that they also know that his First Amendment rights are not being violated, otherwise you’d be talking about the lawsuit they filed.

      He must request permission to travel and state why. Parole Board said that wasn’t a good enough reason. A Parolee, a parolee, a parolee. Worth repeating. No, not entitled to the same personal freedoms as regular citizens until no longer a parolee. That is not defending the government, it is pointing out that your premise is flawed in “this one” particular case.

      I personally know one Parole Board member in my state and believe a campaign to contact them will be fruitless, or worse. In passing you say to contact the ABA. That’s pretty much burying the lead. You should have the ABA’s contact info up there, not the Parole Board’s.

      Has NORML contacted ABA to inquire about a Skype connection? Why not?

      [Editor’s note: The ABA has rescinded their invitation to Mr. Platshorn and has asked a representative from IL NORML to speak instead.]

    36. Me says:

      Well, how about the guy from IL shows up with a prerecorded speech and a 4G connection for Q&A

    37. Me says:

      Put it up on the projector display it would rock!

    38. Navy_CPO says:

      To the Editor: Did ABA indicate why they rescinded their invitation?

      My guess is that they did not know who the “Silver Tour” really was, and that Platshorn was actually the Boss of the late-70’s Black Tuna Gang, who smuggled 500 tons of Colombian Gold into Florida via the ruthless Cartels.

      While hyped as a non-violent pot offender by High Times and friendly bloggers, you can’t sleep with murderers and then claim not to have blood on your hands. The load he finally got busted on would have netted him personally a cool $million.

      I remember him now, as I was flying drug interdiction missions back then. He has always been a scammer, and even liked to say that if you put 500 people in front of him, he could get into 300 of their pockets.

      Now he is attempting to leverage his “silver” hair by promoting medical marijuana to seniors via for-profit speaking engagements. This because he wasn’t able to sell his book about his gang’s activities.

      I’d be interested to know, were you even aware of who you were asking people to rally behind? Is smuggling 500 tons of Colombian Cartel blood merchandise something that NORML supports?

      [Editor’s note: You need not be a total contrarian here. Where do you think cannabis comes from, the ganja fairy? Indeed, if you’ve not noticed Prohibition creates criminality…both large and small scale. It is also an economics thing…you wanna take issue with the economics of prohibition too?

      BTW, have you sourced your ‘medical’ cannabis? Are you sure you’re not supporting foreign syndicates, domestic drug gangs or tax cheats?

      All this time you’re wasting on NORML’s webpage being contrarian when you can be contacting the ABA yourself and haranguing them.]

    39. BambiB says:

      I agree. A teleconference not only meets the requirements of the police state, but it spits in its collective eye AND makes the point that it’s not just smoking dope that is on trial, but ALL civil liberties, including the right to free speech.

      Name names. Humiliate the bastards.

    40. Navy_CPO says:

      Yes, it is cultivated only 5 miles from my house by my registered “Care Provider”. I personally taught him (another patient) how to grow.

      [Editor’s note: For the vast majority of cannabis consumers not fortunate enough to live in a ‘medical’ cannabis state that still tolerates home cultivation (the current trend in future medical cannabis law reforms is to ban home cultivation), and going back to at least the 1960s in America, cannabis consumers get their cannabis from the so-called black market. People make up the black market. Robert Platshorn is a person.

      Strange how a ‘medical’ cannabis patient has so much animus towards a person who has been severely victimized not once, but twice by Cannabis Prohibition laws—first by serving a nearly 30 year federal prison sentence and now being denied his First Amendment rights to travel, speak and associate with others?

      Instead of casting disparaging remarks directed at Mr. Platshorn’s previous profession of making sure cannabis consumers in America had access to high quality/low cost cannabis during the era of Cannabis Prohibition, why not ‘thank’ and help him?

      BTW, your welcome that NORML has been effectively fighting for 42 years for YOUR access to medical cannabis (and home cultivation)…and people like Robert Platshorn for not letting the government prevail in keeping cannabis from wanting consumers in the 1970s and 80s. Without either party existing you would not be enjoying your tax-free, home-cultivated cannabis.]

    41. Fed-Up says:

      Navy_CPO says:

      “Yes, it is cultivated only 5 miles from my house by my registered “Care Provider”. I personally taught him (another patient) how to grow”.

      It still wont be like Colombian.You are probably growing an Indica,
      that has large crystals and a funky smell- that is like a shot of Nyguil, basicaly a dreary sleepy, buzz…Now Colombian made you “laugh,it was an equatorial thing,.a rich spicy hash bite with a little cured tobbaco flavor. Those where the days!

      Thank you Robert Platshorn for your contribution to society!

      (not being sarcastic)

    42. Ray DiPasquale says:

      Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.
      Marcus Tullius Cicero

    43. TheNightWatchman says:

      So tragic that we even have to fight for what we consider basic and everyday. Any who do not see a sinister underlying agenda constantly moving forward from the government in the form of massive control and nannyhood is a total fool. To even have an article that belongs more on the pages of a chinese site than a American one is sickening. They will get worse and we will do is obey.

    44. Swami Prem Kavyo says:

      Thirty years behind bars for a cannabis violation is Cruel and Unusual Punishment itself, then to suppress Mr. Platshorn’s Free Speech too! If you have to subvert the Constitution to support a failed policy of cannabis prohibition then it is time for repeal of anti cannabis laws.

    45. Fed-Up says:

      Navy_CPO …I was wrong. was just being nostalgic,that’s all, recently sampled some outdoor grown “Trainwreck”. The flavor was very spicy, like good colombian was,and the effect’s lasted for hours!. I think it’s possible for the vet’s and the seniors to have the best of both worlds without having to resort to smuggling from foreign countries and cartels. Grown in the good ole USA the way it should be

      Seniors,”plant that bell and let it ring”-Neil Young

    46. Robin says:

      Just wondering if we could get an update on Robert Platshorn.

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