Bernie Ellis, the writers' choice for Best Liberal in the Scene's "Best of Nashville" issue last week, will be profiled on CNN at 11:25 a.m. today for his efforts on behalf of medical marijuana and the Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act. Here's what we wrote last week:
Ellis is what embattled Tennessee progressives could use a lot more of: a fighter. His efforts on behalf of vote reform got him branded an alarmist by the entrenched forces of legislative stagnancy — until the electronic voting-machine snafus during the recent primaries showed his warnings were dead-on. But it was his role as the architect of (and chief lobbyist for) legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee that showed his true colors: an unfailingly polite but lionhearted advocate who appeals to legislators' decency — or at least wears them down to the point they have to get reacquainted with it. Ellis is a onetime public health official who nearly lost his farm to the DEA for giving away (not selling) homegrown weed to the sick and dying in Middle Tennessee. That unasked-for outlaw cred — coupled with impeccable public-policy credentials and an avuncular manner — makes Ellis a dangerous man in the best possible way.
The spot will be repeated between 3 and 5 p.m. this afternoon, and should be available online around that time.
UPDATE: Video added.