Broward News

South Florida Pot Smuggling Documentary, Square Grouper, To Premeire At SXSW

From director Billy Corben and the minds that brought you Cocaine Cowboys and The U, comes Square Grouper, a new documentary about the heyday of South Florida pot smuggling. The movie has been described as: "a colorful portrait of Miami's pot smuggling scene of the 1970s, populated with redneck pirates, a ganja-smoking church, and the longest serving marijuana prisoner in American history."

The film features Robert Platshorn, who, before he was released two years ago, was the longest serving, non-violent marijuana prisoner in the country. New Times had a cover story on Platshorn when he first got out of prison.

More recently we caught with Platshorn as he began touring local retirement homes, preaching the values of legalization.

A post on the website for rakontur, the production company, announced yesterday afternoon that the much anticipated documentary will debut in Austin, at this year's SXSW Film Festival.

The movie will reach America at a very interesting time politically. The most recently election ushered in a group of Tea Party-endorsed outsiders, and although they are generally conservative across the board, many are, as a principle, opposed to "big government" or government regulation. There are also numerous polls showing young voters support legalization or decriminalization of pot in massive numbers. Now, as many states struggle with budgets and search for additional sources of tax revenue, this film could prove to be a tipping point in the national debate.

In case you were wondering, by the way, the name of the movie, "Square Grouper," comes from the slang term given to bales of marijuana thrown overboard or out of airplanes in South Florida in the 70's and 80's.

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Michael J. Mooney