Outspoken Alaskan legalization advocate and cannabis club owner Charlo Greene is facing more than 50 years in prison for cannabis charges. Her potential sentence, she says, is ridiculously unfair as the state has been slowly moving toward legalization.
Charlene Ebge, aka Charlo Greene, is a former Alaskan television news reporter who dropped the F bomb on the air – quitting her job at the same time. The grin-inducing clip ended up going viral. While her outspoken attitude and public declaration that she’s a cannabis activist was certainly inspiring for others who share the legalization mindset, doing so obviously shook some people up. Her infamous “F it, I quit” clip was likely the main reason she has found herself in legal hot water. After the clip went viral, Alaskan police wasted little time raiding her legal establishment.
Alaska became the third state to legalize recreational cannabis almost two years ago. Since then, state regulations for implementing legalization have been a frustrating, glacier-slow process. Only 17 retail licenses have been approved in the state, and none of them have been able to open for business. Naturally, police investigators have targeted those like Greene, who attempt to get around regulations that don’t accurately represent the law.
Instead of using taxpayer funds to focus on real crimes with real victims, authorities have honed in on activity inside clubs like Greene’s, conducting several undercover purchases and invading her business during two highly unnecessary raids. Because of this, Greene now faces 14 trumped up charges of “misconduct involving a controlled substance”, which could result in her being caged for 54 years.
Rightfully, many Alaskans think the charges against Greene are especially harsh, when taken into account the state’s history with the plant medicine. Private use of cannabis has been legal since the 1970s, and medical use was approved in 1998.
Greene has pleaded not guilty to the charges put forth against her and is currently awaiting trial. While it’s unlikely she’ll be sentenced to 54 years in prison, attempting to throw the book at her after such needless police activity showcases the continued absurdity of the war on drugs. How many billions of taxpayer dollars need to be wasted before enough is enough?
The charges and her pending trial have greatly disrupted her life and business, Greene says.
“It’s almost dizzying when you try to make sense of it,” Greene told The Guardian. “It could literally cost me the rest of my adult life.”
“It casts a cloud over every laugh and every triumph and everything that I’m building and looking forward to,” she said.