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I am applying for a Presidential pardon for my medical cannabis conviction. Will you help? [View All]

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 08:38 AM
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I am applying for a Presidential pardon for my medical cannabis conviction. Will you help?
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Edited on Sun Jan-30-11 08:43 AM by Fly by night
Good morning from my Tennessee deep hollow home. As most of you long-time DUers know, I have been engaged in a nine year battle for my freedom and my farm for the crime of growing medical cannabis for myself and four terminally ill neighbors. I pled guilty to a single count of manufacturing 100+ cannabis plants (mostly clones, the total usable weight of which was a little over seven pounds.) For this offense, I was sentenced to four years probation (later cut in half by my judge) and no fine. However, the government continued to try to confiscate my 187 acre farm until last year when I agreed to give them 25 acres in exchange for keeping the rest of my farm. To date, this case has cost me over $1 million in lost income, legal fees and the value of the land I surrendered.

Ever since I was released from the federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house in May, 2007, I have attempted unsuccessfully to become re-employed in my field as a public health epidemiologist. It appears that my voluntary admission of my crime and the resultant felony conviction is preventing me from ever becoming gainfully employed again. In addition, the accelerated deterioration of my hip joints, caused in part by not being able to use cannabis for the five years I was randomly piss-tested, resulted in hip replacement surgery last May from which I have still not recovered.

Persons convicted of a federal crime must wait a minimum of five years to apply for a Presidential pardon. My waiting period has passed and I am moving forward to file the necessary application. Here is where you might be able to help. I am allowed to submit as many letters of support as I would like to the President with this application. I must designate three primary character references and those will be Mickey Gamble, the former Commissioner of Corrections for both Wyoming and Montana (with whom I worked to create the largest substance abuse treatment center in Wyoming near the Wind River Indian Reservation); David Earnhardt, the director/producer of the much-acclaimed documentary "UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections"; and Senator Beverly Marrero, the sponsor of Tennessee's Safe Access to Medical Cannabis legislation. However, I would like to submit as many letters of support as possible with this application. Thus, those of you who have gotten to know me and the circumstances of my case here at DU over the past seven years are in a position to assist this process by submitting a letter on my behalf. In addition, those of you who don't know me yet but who have strong and well-reasoned opinions about our current medical cannabis prohibition laws can learn about my case at the links below and write letters also.

To my knowledge, NO person who has ever been convicted of a federal medical cannabis-related offense has ever received a Presidential pardon from any President. Murderers, embezzlers, warmongers, election thieves yes. Pot growers and users no. (This was confirmed for me on Friday by the legal staff of the Marijuana Policy Project.) It is long past time to change that and Id like to do my small part. Perhaps if I can obtain the first pardon for a medical cannabis offense, that might accelerate the much-needed changes in our country's drug policies in favor of science, common sense and compassion that are long overdue. Who knows, we might reach a day where everyone who has shared my sentence (and my fate) for similar reasons might receive a blanket pardon, just as Jimmy Carter pardoned all those other felons of conscience who fled this country in the 60s and 70s to avoid supporting the war in Vietnam with their bodies and their blood.

Again, many of you know my story as it has played out here for many years. For those of you who do not, here are four quick links:

In April, 2007, as I was about to be released from a federal Bureau of Prisons half-way house, the Nashville Scene did a cover story on my case entitled "Marijuana Martyr".

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/marijuana-marty...

In January, 2010, the Nashville Scene did another cover story to endorse the Tennessee Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act, a bill that I wrote and helped shepherd through the legislature last year. (The bill was approved in all House committees, including a 20-4 vote in the House Health and Human Resources committee.)

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/a-proposed-medi...

My case has also been highlighted in two nationally syndicated columns, several additional cover stories in Tennessee and national media and two documentaries. Here is the link to a CNN profile on my case that ran (multiple times) back in October.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/10/14/dnt.harr...

Finally, I posted an OP here on DU last year entitled Witnessing our government sell my land for the crime of growing pot. That piece was published in its entirety on the NORML home page and on six dozen other internet sites.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Here are the instructions posted regarding character references on the instructions for a Presidential pardon:

At least three character affidavits must accompany the petition. If you submit more than three, you should designate the three persons whom you consider to be primary references. The affidavit forms provided are preferred. However, letters of recommendation may be substituted if they contain the full name, address, and telephone number of the reference, indicate a knowledge of the offense for which you seek pardon, and bear a notarized signature. Persons related to you by blood or marriage cannot be used as primary character references.

If you are willing to write a letter of support for my Presidential pardon, I would be deeply grateful. Address your letter to President Barack Obama, be sure to follow all the instructions above and mail your letter to me (no later than March 1) at the following address:

Trace View Farm
5985 Fly Hollow Road
Santa Fe, TN 38482.

My full name is Bernard H. Ellis, Jr., and my federal Bureau of Prisons number is 16502-075.

Thanks in advance to any of you who choose to K&R this thread today and a special thanks to those of you who decide to submit a letter to the President. Before I was sentenced, my judge received 300+ letters of support and there were 60 people in the courtroom supporting me on the day of my sentencing. I know that these letters carry weight if they are well-written and respectfully submitted. I hope that the weight of my Presidential pardon submission will help take the weight of oppression off the backs of millions of sick and dying Americans who would like safe access to medical cannabis NOW and to the thousands like me who would like to help them obtain it.

I hope all yall have a restful Sunday. We are the ones weve been waiting for.
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  -I am applying for a Presidential pardon for my medical cannabis conviction. Will you help? Fly by night  Jan-30-11 08:38 AM   #0 
  - Recommend  xchrom   Jan-30-11 08:52 AM   #1 
  - K & R  a la izquierda   Jan-30-11 08:55 AM   #2 
  - I wish you the best  Saboburns   Jan-30-11 08:59 AM   #3 
  - K&R  Fumesucker   Jan-30-11 09:12 AM   #4 
  - k/r - back later  defendandprotect   Jan-30-11 09:14 AM   #5 
  - No later than March 1st  hlthe2b   Jan-30-11 09:22 AM   #6 
  - I'd be honored to write in your support and in a way the support of many others run over  TheKentuckian   Jan-30-11 09:24 AM   #7 
  - Here's a little background on my professional work before the "troubles"  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 09:25 AM   #8 
  - I will note these things in my letter to the WH.  truedelphi   Jan-30-11 03:45 PM   #58 
  - trying to write a letter now  northernlights   Jan-30-11 06:24 PM   #78 
  - Thanks for the letter and the editorial restraint.  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 06:46 PM   #80 
  - Kick!  lonestarnot   Jan-31-11 08:27 AM   #100 
  - Done  BanzaiBonnie   Jan-30-11 09:28 AM   #9 
  - K&R. I will absolutely do this within the next 24 hours.  OneGrassRoot   Jan-30-11 09:45 AM   #10 
  - Best of luck  somone   Jan-30-11 10:00 AM   #11 
  - I'll do what I can Dr. Bernie.  CrownPrinceBandar   Jan-30-11 10:05 AM   #12 
  - k and r  nashville_brook   Jan-30-11 10:07 AM   #13 
  - K&R n/t  JohnyCanuck   Jan-30-11 10:14 AM   #14 
  - k and r  RainDog   Jan-30-11 10:16 AM   #15 
  - K&R. nt  OnyxCollie   Jan-30-11 10:22 AM   #16 
  - During the 3 years between the raid and my entering a federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house, ...  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 10:34 AM   #17 
  - K & R  democrank   Jan-30-11 10:55 AM   #18 
  - Wishing you the best...  CanSocDem   Jan-30-11 10:55 AM   #19 
  - K&R -- Penning (typing!) my letter to Obama now! We're with  gateley   Jan-30-11 11:01 AM   #20 
  - Yes, just send your letter to me.  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 12:04 PM   #31 
     - Got it! nt  gateley   Jan-30-11 12:17 PM   #32 
  - K&R! If you can write Bernie a letter, Please do!  Melissa G   Jan-30-11 11:16 AM   #21 
  - My election reform work (thanks, Melissa)  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 12:35 PM   #35 
  - K&R  Odin2005   Jan-30-11 11:19 AM   #22 
  - War criminals get a pass but 1 conviction and ya can't work or rent a place  upi402   Jan-30-11 11:22 AM   #23 
  - Yes I will  madokie   Jan-30-11 11:23 AM   #24 
  - You could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  Gregorian   Jan-30-11 11:40 AM   #25 
  - Will do whatever I can..  BrklynLiberal   Jan-30-11 11:50 AM   #26 
  - K&R  Doremus   Jan-30-11 11:51 AM   #27 
  - Need some guidance ....  shireen   Jan-30-11 11:53 AM   #28 
  - For my criminal and civil asset forfeiture cases, almost 300 letters were submitted to the court.  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 12:53 PM   #38 
     - thanks, Fly!  shireen   Jan-31-11 09:55 AM   #103 
     - The last letter got cut short by mistake. Here's the rest of the story.  Fly by night   Jan-31-11 10:02 AM   #104 
  - k, r, and putting it on my list of tasks to accomplish this week. nt  LWolf   Jan-30-11 12:03 PM   #29 
  - K&R n/t  Cetacea   Jan-30-11 12:04 PM   #30 
  - consider it done, my friend.  roguevalley   Jan-30-11 12:36 PM   #36 
  - K&R! n/t  Lugnut   Jan-30-11 12:19 PM   #33 
  - Absolutely will do if for you Bernie!  sonias   Jan-30-11 12:21 PM   #34 
  - A most special recommendation.  Kaleko   Jan-30-11 12:39 PM   #37 
  - You have done, great work.......  jdadd   Jan-30-11 12:53 PM   #39 
  - k  emilyg   Jan-30-11 12:56 PM   #40 
  - KNR and I wish you success. 105th Rec!  leveymg   Jan-30-11 01:08 PM   #41 
  - Sounds like a good plan.  EFerrari   Jan-30-11 01:10 PM   #42 
  - If a Presidential pardon sounds like a good ending to a book, it might be (with your help).  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 01:37 PM   #43 
  - I can only KICK this thread- any 'Letter of Support' I write would be a strike against you.  Richard Steele   Jan-30-11 01:39 PM   #44 
  - Me too. God Bless you Baby! n/t  Mojeoux   Jan-31-11 03:23 AM   #96 
  - K&R  me b zola   Jan-30-11 01:40 PM   #45 
  - K&R bookmarked  underpants   Jan-30-11 01:49 PM   #46 
  - I will gladly write a letter,  bleever   Jan-30-11 01:52 PM   #47 
  - Will do! I'm in awe, total awe. K&R (nt)  tpsbmam   Jan-30-11 01:55 PM   #48 
  - You got it, Bernie  Tsiyu   Jan-30-11 02:11 PM   #49 
  - Would we submitting a letter of recommendation that requires a notarized  Stardust   Jan-30-11 02:13 PM   #50 
  - Yes. All letters submitted with my pardon application must be notarized ...  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 02:28 PM   #51 
     - I just want to make sure I do this correctly - do I bring the finished UNSIGNED letter to the notary  scarletwoman   Jan-30-11 06:03 PM   #70 
        - Yes, that should do it. Thanks kindly.  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 06:24 PM   #77 
  - K&R! nt  Enthusiast   Jan-30-11 03:01 PM   #52 
  - K&R  onestepforward   Jan-30-11 03:27 PM   #53 
  - K & R x 1000  orbitalman   Jan-30-11 03:29 PM   #54 
  - I will do this  slay   Jan-30-11 03:31 PM   #55 
  - consider it done.  unapatriciated   Jan-30-11 03:41 PM   #56 
  - In describing how you "know" me (if you are writing a letter), I wouldn't hesitate ...  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 03:43 PM   #57 
  - Recommended.  H2O Man   Jan-30-11 03:49 PM   #59 
  - K&R ! //nt  Overseas   Jan-30-11 03:58 PM   #60 
  - K&R. nt  DesertFlower   Jan-30-11 04:03 PM   #61 
  - K&R  midnight   Jan-30-11 04:17 PM   #62 
  - I Wish You The Best Of Luck My Friend!!!  Corey_Baker08   Jan-30-11 04:40 PM   #63 
  - Anything you need, Bernie. Will get a letter out this week. Excellent idea!  Mnemosyne   Jan-30-11 05:00 PM   #64 
  - Surely our government has destroyed countless more lives than the aggregate harm caused by  indepat   Jan-30-11 05:14 PM   #65 
  - Good luck to you  lillypaddle   Jan-30-11 05:24 PM   #66 
  - Best of luck. K&R n/t  Duval   Jan-30-11 05:25 PM   #67 
  - K&R!  Kajsa   Jan-30-11 05:57 PM   #68 
  - K&R! n/t  Poll_Blind   Jan-30-11 06:00 PM   #69 
  - K&R  Canuckistanian   Jan-30-11 06:10 PM   #71 
  - A hearty K&R. You have done much for us here in TN, it's our turn.  johnaries   Jan-30-11 06:11 PM   #72 
  - rec  handmade34   Jan-30-11 06:14 PM   #73 
  - K&R  AzDar   Jan-30-11 06:17 PM   #74 
  - K & R  Better Believe It   Jan-30-11 06:19 PM   #75 
  - From Santa Fe, NM much support. nt  SourFlower   Jan-30-11 06:23 PM   #76 
  - Thanks kindly, from Santa Fe, TN  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 06:50 PM   #82 
  - K&R  leftstreet   Jan-30-11 06:34 PM   #79 
  - How much money you got?  DissedByBush   Jan-30-11 06:48 PM   #81 
  - ... a lot less than I used to.  Fly by night   Jan-30-11 06:52 PM   #83 
  - Best of luck  DissedByBush   Jan-30-11 07:00 PM   #84 
  - I didn't know their was a price on pardons? But I guess it would make sense in the world of  midnight   Feb-04-11 06:23 PM   #137 
  - K&R! n/t  Catherina   Jan-30-11 07:31 PM   #85 
  - I will do what I can  JitterbugPerfume   Jan-30-11 07:43 PM   #86 
  - K&R  amborin   Jan-30-11 07:43 PM   #87 
  - Count me in, Fly! I'd be proud to write such a letter for you!  loudsue   Jan-30-11 07:51 PM   #88 
  - K&R  DesertRat   Jan-30-11 09:24 PM   #89 
  - I am writing now.  babydollhead   Jan-30-11 09:29 PM   #90 
  - K&R! You can count on me and I'll be passing this on...  Rhiannon12866   Jan-30-11 10:50 PM   #91 
  - k&r and best of luck. nm  rhett o rick   Jan-30-11 11:17 PM   #92 
  - I think that's a gret idea, but as you pointed out, it's easier  sabrina 1   Jan-31-11 12:57 AM   #93 
  - K&R  pengillian101   Jan-31-11 01:19 AM   #94 
  - Recommended.  Heidi   Jan-31-11 02:23 AM   #95 
  - KNR!  indimuse   Jan-31-11 03:42 AM   #97 
  - K & R, I wish you well, good Luck!  Tripod   Jan-31-11 05:14 AM   #98 
  - K&R - Good luck!  secondwind   Jan-31-11 07:01 AM   #99 
  - My deepest appreciation to DU (and DUers) for your support.  Fly by night   Jan-31-11 08:50 AM   #101 
  - Kickin' for Fly...  blm   Jan-31-11 09:03 AM   #102 
  - I've been away the last couple of days but if I could recommend this thread, I would.  Uncle Joe   Jan-31-11 10:08 AM   #105 
  - Thanks, Uncle Joe. Much appreciated.  Fly by night   Jan-31-11 10:22 AM   #106 
     - I do as well, Fly by night and I hope that Tennessee wakes up to the total loss  Uncle Joe   Jan-31-11 10:28 AM   #107 
  - K/R  defendandprotect   Jan-31-11 10:33 AM   #108 
  - Too late to Rec, but happy to kick this over the moon.  Ignis   Jan-31-11 11:41 AM   #109 
  - Will do.  Mimosa   Jan-31-11 11:59 AM   #110 
  - I fully support Dr. Bernie and his work--  librechik   Jan-31-11 12:14 PM   #111 
  - I would be honored to help.  myrna minx   Jan-31-11 12:44 PM   #112 
  - I got you!!!!  mstinamotorcity   Jan-31-11 03:59 PM   #113 
  - When it comes to medical marijuana, Michigan would be a good move.  Fly by night   Feb-01-11 04:53 AM   #116 
  - kick  Swamp Rat   Jan-31-11 09:37 PM   #114 
  - kr  Norrin Radd   Feb-01-11 02:56 AM   #115 
  - Bernie, can you (or a friend) please set up a Facebook page?  Mimosa   Feb-01-11 05:41 AM   #117 
  - Facebook doesn't work on my computer and I don't want letters from folks who don't know me.  Fly by night   Feb-01-11 07:09 AM   #118 
     - You're right. *smile*  Mimosa   Feb-01-11 12:24 PM   #120 
  - Giving you a kick for visibility. Good luck!! n/t  InvisibleTouch   Feb-01-11 11:32 AM   #119 
  - Best of Luck, and I wish you success. n/t  msanthrope   Feb-01-11 12:29 PM   #121 
  - Would having the conviction vacated or expunged be a lot more "doable"? ...  Unrepentant Fenian   Feb-01-11 12:43 PM   #122 
  - I'm not sure what you suggest is an option since ....  Fly by night   Feb-01-11 01:49 PM   #123 
     - In addition to governors, legislators and state Dem Party chairs, it looks like ...  Fly by night   Feb-01-11 02:01 PM   #124 
  - ttt  Blue_Tires   Feb-01-11 03:03 PM   #125 
  - K&R  nmbluesky   Feb-01-11 04:51 PM   #126 
  - Just received the first draft letter from a DUer  Fly by night   Feb-01-11 05:35 PM   #127 
  - K&R  G_j   Feb-02-11 12:49 PM   #128 
  - Letters are beginning to arrive. They are coming from all quarters, including ...  Fly by night   Feb-03-11 07:27 AM   #129 
  - Met with Tennessee legislative staff today. May get 10-15 letters from House members ...  Fly by night   Feb-03-11 06:25 PM   #130 
  - k&r ....  spanone   Feb-03-11 06:30 PM   #131 
  - K & R  AuntPatsy   Feb-04-11 12:13 AM   #132 
  - Too late to Rec.  LAGC   Feb-04-11 01:40 AM   #133 
  - Sorry too late to K&R  readmoreoften   Feb-04-11 01:53 AM   #134 
  - At 3:30 am this morning, I found my first commitment letter from a 2008 Presidential candidate ...  Fly by night   Feb-04-11 01:30 PM   #135 
  - Kick and add link for Tennesseans  Tsiyu   Feb-04-11 02:52 PM   #136 
  - i just posted about the excellent interview in the Justice forum. link:  nofurylike   Feb-06-11 04:41 AM   #138 
 

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