Among our panel of speakers, Robert Platshorn will undoubtedly be the most distinctive. He has had MANY aliases (Bob Platshorn, Bob Auction, Bob Knapp, Bob Elliott, Bobby Tuna of the Black Tuna gang) over the course of his career, which started as an actor. He currently is a politically-involved advocate and runs The Silver tour to help advocate marijuana among America’s veterans, as well as among retired and senior citizens.
Robert Platshorn is author of "Black Tuna Diaries", "Greed and Evil", and is America's longest (30 yrs) imprisoned non-violent marijuana offender. Raised on South St. in downtown Philadelphia, acting ambitions earned him a supporting role in a successful off Broadway play while still in high school. The same skill led to Robert becoming one of America's most famous pitchmen. The late Billy Mays called him “A legend in the pitch business”. Seen for years on TV, at fairs, and shows selling Vita Mix, frozen food knives, and gadgets. Robert studied communications at University of Miami.
At the age of twenty-four he moved to London to found Dynamic Reading Institutes. Starting with a rented classroom, within three years there were fourteen schools in three countries and his teachers giving classes at Oxford, Cambridge, London University and the House of Lords. On his return to the U.S he started the Ice Cream Factory. Using a unique pushcart he invented, he became the second largest distributor of Breyer's ice cream.
He moved back to Miami in 1975 to attend Law School. Miami in the 1970's was the center of the Colombian pot trade. Robert turned his business acumen to the mission of smuggling Colombian cannabis. Attorney general Griffin Bell named Robert's organization the Black Tuna Gang and alleged they were responsible for most of the marijuana crossing the Florida coast. In 1979, a year after quitting the smuggling business, he was indicted, convicted and sentenced to 64 years in federal prison. He was released in late 2008 after serving almost 30 years in eleven different prisons.
Robert lives in Florida with his wife Lynne. He founded The Silver Tour (www.thesilvertour.org), a 501(c)3 organization also called the "secret weapon for legalization", to teach seniors the benefits of medical marijuana. He has appeared at Universities, Concerts, benefits, Expos and in the media to promote the cause. His story was featured in High Times, The New York Times, CNN, News Week, The Wall St Journal, Time, and many other national and international media outlets. His writing has been seen in The New York Times, High Times and various publications. He initiated the current pending medical marijuana legislation in Florida and this past June, he took 150 seniors to Washington to lobby for medical marijuana. In February 2015 he took 400 seniors and veterans to Tallahassee to lobby for access to medical marijuana.
“Bobby Tuna” is featured in “Square Grouper”, the hit documentary on ShowTime. He has produced a half-hour show for commercial TV titled, “Should Grandma Smoke Pot?” Bobby was recently seen on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.
Contact: Robert Platshorn