For his trouble, he received an initial sentence of four years' probation, lost his 30-year career as a public-health epidemiologist, and was forced to give up 25 acres of his land to the government. Instead of clamming up, however, Ellis has become an outspoken activist for medical marijuana — a nationally recognized advocate who helped draft a proposal for a state-operated medical-cannabis program that just resurfaced this session in the Tennessee General Assembly.
To rid himself of his nine-year ordeal once and for all, Ellis is now appealing to the highest authority in the land — President Barack Obama — and the American public that supports the issue in growing numbers. On the blog Democrats for Progress, Ellis has announced a campaign to get a pardon from President Obama. He has the three primary character references he needs, but he's hoping submission of other letters from supporters will help his chances — just as he believes the 300-plus testimonials he received from otherwise law-abiding citizens helped by his efforts got his time cut in half at his sentencing hearing.
Anyone wanting to help his cause will find instructions here at the bottom of the page.