Former reporter who quit on air to become cannabis advocate now facing 54 years in prison
A former television reporter who quit on air to become a cannabis advocate is now facing 54 years in prison on drug charges.
In 2014, Charlo Greene, a reporter for CBS affiliate KTVA, was doing a report on efforts to legalize marijuana in the state when she abruptly revealed that she was the owner of the Alaskan Cannabis Club, a group that connects medical marijuana patients with suppliers.
“Now everything you 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,” she said.
“And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit.”
Greene then walked off the set, leaving a startled news anchor struggling to find words at the news desk.
She then wrote on a Indiegogo crowdfunding page, “I just quit my news reporting job on live TV to announce that I am redirecting all of my energy toward helping to end a failed drug policy that has ruined the lives of far too many Americans.”
Now her life could be ruined.
The manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana is legal in Greene’s state of Alaska, but regulations aren’t fully in place for retail sales.
According to The Guardian, detectives investigated the Alaska Cannabis Club, which sells memberships and gives marijuana to members who make donations.
Greene was the only one charged in the bust; though she wasn’t directly involved when police made undercover purchases, the club was registered in her name.
She pleaded not guilty to the 14 charges, describing her case as a “modern-day lynching.”
Greene could get 54 years in prison, though experts said such a lengthy sentence is unlikely.
Nevertheless, she feels the weight of what could come.
“It’s almost dizzying when you try to make sense of it. It could literally cost me the rest of my adult life,” she said. “It casts a cloud over every laugh and every triumph and everything that I’m building and looking forward to.”