Marijuana activist and viral video star Charlo Greene, known as the “f**k it, I quit” reporter, could face up to 54 years in prison for pot sales made by her Alaska Cannabis Club.
The sales were made before regulations were put in place in Alaska – a state that legalized the manufacture, sale and possession of cannabis in 2015. (1)
Greene is famous for quitting her job as a reporter for local news station KTVA on air. On September 22, 2014 after finishing a report on the Alaska Cannabis Club, she revealed she was the club’s owner and quit her job before walking off:
“Now, everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job, well—not that I have a choice—but [f–k] it, I quit.”
Check out the video below:
The video went viral (1) and Greene became an internet sensation overnight.
She used her fame to become a figure in the legalization movement, fighting to make cannabis more accessible for Alaskans (1,2) and giving interviews on why she quit her day job to focus all her energy on fighting drug laws. (3)
Authorities Wasted No Time Targeting Greene
According to The Independent, authorities began to target Greene from the moment she became famous. (2)
Detectives immediately targeted the Alaska Cannabis Club after her video went viral: they did two raids and made six undercover purchases in a span of five months following. (2)
Despite that marijuana is legal in Alaska now, Greene is still being persecuted in a way that, in my opinion, doesn’t make much sense.
A change in the state’s drug law should mean they take steps to undo the damage the previous law caused – damage they made it clear they were aware of by changing the law – but this move against Greene achieves the opposite.
Instead of giving her a fine or some other lesser punishment that would indicate the state’s willingness to go along with their own changes to the law, they want to put her away for what would amount to the “rest of [her] adult life” as she said. (1)
New Charges Recently Announced
Eight counts had previously been announced that would’ve led to a maximum 24-year sentence, and the new charges that bring the maximum sentence to 54 years are “more than double” the penalties imposed by the original. (2)
She now faces 14 counts that include misconduct involving a controlled substance for failing to get the proper certifications for the club to run retail operations as well as operating before the legalization law was in effect. (1)
Ten of the offenses stem from the supply or possession of over an ounce of cannabis on the dates when undercover detectives purchased it from the club. (1)
The other four stem from the supply or possession of smaller amounts and each carry a maximum 1-year sentence. (1)
The club offered memberships that would allow people to donate in exchange for cannabis. (1)
The authorities made the aforementioned raids before charging Greene, and despite that she wasn’t involved in any of the transactions, she was charged because the business is registered in her name. (1)
She describes her case as a “modern day lynching”, and her sister reports feeling violated and heartbroken by the fact that they were being watched by authorities for so long. (1) Greene pleaded not guilty, and a trial will come in the months ahead. (1)
Activism and Self-Sacrifice
Depending on your stance on the drug laws and your reaction to Greene’s video, you might think she’s either a freedom fighter being persecuted or just another “controversial” figure who got what they deserved for being so outspoken.
Marc Emery is another activist who boldly fights marijuana laws, which famously resulted in his extradition to the United States from Canada to serve jail time for selling seeds to U.S. citizens.
He’s out of prison and continues to fight for legalization, but his case made it clear that the U.S. government is uninterested in stopping the fight against cannabis.
We learn from Greene’s case that being outspoken on the issue at allcan make you a target. Does this mean we shouldn’t speak out or fight for what we know is right?
These activists represent the growing number of people who are fed up with the way things are and unafraid to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
People like Marc Emery and Charlo Greene have risked it all to see the day when marijuana can be used freely and openly without shame or fear of arrest.
They’ve both had to deal with Uncle Sam as a result.
Emery seems to have problems with Canadian authorities as well, despite that marijuana will soon be legalized in the country; in recent months he’s shared more than one live feed from Facebook wherein a Canadian dispensary or club, including his own Cannabis Culture, is being raided.
The Fight Isn’t Over
Seeing the sacrifices these activists have to make to push for a change in the drug laws makes it clear that despite how safe you might feel lighting up in the privacy of your home, the fight is far from over.
The new laws are driving state governments to prosecute cannabis and those who use and distribute it as much as before, while the federal government remains stubborn and unwilling to reschedule the plant.
Activists are still facing prison sentences, and fed up citizens everywhere still need to fight what they know is unjust. Charlo Greene is taking a stand, and now they want to take her down.
But they can’t take us all down; especially if we stand as one and demand they come around or get out of our way.
We have a world to change, and governments that refuse to be a part of it will become obsolete overnight. Cases like Greene’s prove that they don’t represent what’s best for the people and will likely fail to play a significant role in these changes.
They intend to fight change even while letting it slip through the cracks, and the fact that it’s still an uphill battle makes it clear that our governments don’t want to work with us.
They’ll continue to fight us in hopes that we give up, but with how far we’ve come, there’s no way we could stop now.
(1) Julie Fidler, “Reporter Says ‘F**k It’ and Promotes Marijuana Legalization, Faces 54 Years in Prison”, Natural Society, October 15, 2016 – http://naturalsociety.com/reporter-quit-job-promote-weed-faces-54-years-prison-3858/
(2) “The reporter who quit live on air saying ‘f***it’ facing fresh charges” The Independent, September 30, 2015 –http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/charlo-greene-tv-reporter-quit-weed-cannabis-charges-prison-legalisation-latest-a7340056.html
(3) “‘F—k It, I Quit’ Reporter Charlo Greene Smokes A Joint On The Air On HuffPost Live” Huffington Post, September 25, 2014 –http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/25/charlo-greene-smokes-on-the-air-huffpost-live_n_5882894.html
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About Wes Annac:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run The Culture of Awareness, a daily news blog dedicated to raising social and spiritual awareness and supporting the evolution of the planet.
I also have a personal blog, Openhearted Rebel, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.