|Photo: Cannabis Culture|
|Bernie Ellis: “If I were a rapist, the government couldn’t take my farm.”|
A public health scientist is losing his retirement, along with part of his farm, in the fight to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee.
Bernie Ellis grew marijuana on his farm to help dull the pain from fibromyalgia and a degenerative disorder in his hip and spine. When neighbors told him about terminally ill patients in the area, he gave them free cannabis as well.
That’s until helicopters came flying over, and the federal government raided Ellis’s farm, seized 25 acres of it, and sent him to a halfway house for 18 months.
“If I were a rapist, the government couldn’t take my farm,” Ellis said in 2007. “I grew cannabis and provided it free of charge to sick people, so I run the risk of losing everything I own.
“That just doesn’t compute to me,” Ellis said.
“I don’t want to appear to be obstinate, but there’s a point at which you say enough is enough,” Ellis said. “They can’t have my home.”
Does he regret growing marijuana? “There are a number of things I regret in this experience,” he said. “I regret being naive to the process. But I do not regret using marijuana, and I do not regret helping people.”
Bernie’s fighting back. CNN’s Tony Harris has the story.