Article by Weed News
On April 18, 1980, my friend Robert Platshorn was convicted for his role in a non-violent marijuana smuggling operation that brought Colombian marijuana up through Miami, Florida.
Two months prior, on February 21, 1980, 45-year-old Antonio Bascaró was placed in jail custody, awaiting his trial on charges relating to his involvement in a non-violent Cuban marijuana smuggling ring that helped bring in weed from Colombia to Florida.
On March 30, 1981, would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr., fired a small handgun six times at President Ronald Reagan.
Antonio Bascaró was still sitting in a jail cell on that day. He was a Cuban exile, having flown for the Cuban Navy and was part of the CIA’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion. He had no criminal history at all and there were no other drugs or any violence involved in his role in the smuggling.
On June 21, 1982, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity by the jury in his trial. The defense had argued that Hinckley had narcissistic personality disorder and was pathologically obsessed with actress Jodie Foster and her role in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver, which they argued drove Hinckley to shoot Reagan. Due to his mental illness, Hinckley was never sent to prison, but instead committed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a mental institution.