On September 22, 2014, Charlo Greene, a reporter for a local TV news station in Anchorage, became an overnight viral sensation when she quit her job live on air to dedicate herself to her Alaska Cannabis Club.
Two years after saying, “Fuck it, I quit,” on live TV, Greene is now facing multiple felony charges that could put her in prison for 54 years — in a state with legalized marijuana that just opened its first retail pot shop.
Why are Alaskan authorities so determined to destroy this woman’s life over now-legal marijuana? And where are all the people who celebrated her viral celebrity or benefited from her cannabis club now that she needs their support the most?
Greene had formed the Alaska Cannabis Club five months before her epic on-air mic drop, on April 20, 2014 (of course). Before then, Public Policy Polling (PPP) showed declining support for Alaska’s Measure 2 to legalize marijuana. From February through summertime, support had dropped from 55 percent to 43 percent in the opinion polls.
But after Greene’s September Surprise, pollster Ivan Moore found support back up to a 57-to-39 margin. It could just be that earlier polls failed to properly discern voters’ preference. Greene, however, believes her act of defiance “sparked a movement that managed to secure 53 percent of the vote in support of legalization over the next five weeks.”
After that November 4 vote, it wasn’t until February 24, 2015, that it became legal for adults to share up to an ounce of marijuana. Then on March 20, the Anchorage Police Department conducted a SWAT-style raid on Alaska Cannabis Club.
Prosecutors allege that undercover investigators bought marijuana at Greene’s club. Since the regulations that have now produced Alaska’s first legal pot shops weren’t in effect in 2015, the Department of Law spokesperson explained that the state “wanted there to be a clear message that for the marijuana industry, you need to follow the regulations…”
Charlo Greene is charged with crimes that existed in Alaska before legalization passed, activities that have been made legal since the passage of Measure 2 in 2014. Prosecuting Greene doesn’t ensure that the current industry follows the regulations. It only sends a clear message that the state wants to pursue an unnecessary vendetta against a black female entrepreneur.
Greene told HIGH TIMES that she has found a lawyer to help fight her case. She has turned to music video as an art form to tell her story and raise funds for her defense. She is also working on a tell-all memoir about her experiences since quitting the television station in such a dramatic fashion, which she says will reveal much about the emerging industry and the supposed good intentions of the people driving it.
Nobody deserves prison for a plant, especially in a state where marijuana is legal. Prosecuting Greene will only create a marijuana martyr who’ll become an even stronger voice for the movement.
Alaska is making a huge mistake.
All of HIGH TIMES’ Charlo Greene Coverage:
‘F**k It I Quit’ Reporter Charlo Greene Could Face 24 Years in Prison
HIGH TIMES Interview: Charlo Greene
‘F**k It I Quit’ Reporter Charlo Greene Tells HIGH TIMES ‘I’m Just Living My Truth’
Former News Anchor Charlo Greene Aims to Be the ‘Oprah of Pot’ with New Show
Police Raid Club of ‘F**k It I Quit’ Reporter Turned Pot Activist
Previously from Russ Belville: In Pot We Trust