Is She Targeted to Be Mary Jane’s Martyred Sister?
Alaska was the first state in the union to pass a law legalizing the use of marijuana. In the 1970s, a law was passed authoring in-home use. In 1998, a law was passed pertaining to medical use. In 2014, a law was passed making Alaska the third state in the union to legalize recreational use.
The latest law legalized the manufacture, sale, and possession of marijuana. One would think Alaska was through with prosecuting its citizens for the possession or sale of marijuana. Tell that to Charlo Greene, president and CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club who faces a possible 54-year prison term for 14 counts related to the sale of marijuana.
Greene, the registered owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, is a former on-air reporter for KTVA news. While airing a news report about the Alaska Cannabis Club on September 22, 2014, she identified herself as its owner and dramatically quit her job, saying, “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. And as for this job, well, fuck it. I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit.” She then walked off camera leaving a co-worker to stumble through apologies.
This event took place just weeks before the 2014 vote on legalization. Green believes the viral video helped bring in the 53% win for recreational legalization. The Alaska Cannabis Club was raided well after the law took effect.
Although Alaska passed laws legalizing the use and sale of marijuana, regulations and licensing for its sale lagged behind. Currently, the state has approved 83 licenses, 17 of which are for retail businesses. The first retail stores are scheduled to open in November 2016, two years after the final legalization law passed – 40 + years after the first law legalizing its use.
The Associated Press quoted Greene as saying, “We don’t sell any recreational marijuana. We don’t sell any medical marijuana. This is a place for cardholders to come and share their own cannabis.” It is unclear how the club worked and Greene declined to explain the details. Knowing how the “justice system” works due to our own experience, we can certainly support her decision to keep the details to herself prior to her day in court.
In September of 2015, Greene was charged with 8 counts, which could bring a total of 24 years in prison. She listed them as follows:
- 4 felonies: each carrying a potential 5-year term
- 4 misdemeanors: each carrying a year each
- All of the charges are for possessing small amounts cannabis
- All of the charges and allegations were made after Alaska legalized cannabis.
Since that time, her charges have changed, and not for the better. On September 29, she made the following post on her Facebook page: “I just found out I’m facing an additional 6 felonies – 30 more years. That <sic> 54 years in prison for a plant. Aaaaand the attorney I paid to handle my case, who’s been working it for the last year, just let me know she’s quitting to join the prosecution and not giving me back any of the money she was paid to finish my case.”
The lawyer who is now working for the district attorney’s office, was the 4th lawyer Greene has hired to represent her for these charges.
The following is the timeline of events according to Greene:
- Alaska Cannabis Club was created on April 20, 2014
- Incorporation papers were filed on May 4, 2014
- November 4 of 2014, Alaska legalized recreational use of marijuana
- September 22, 2014, Greene made “fuck it” speech on air, quitting her job
- February 24, 2015, Alaska’s new law legalizing recreational use took effect
- March 20, 2015, Anchorage Police Department (APD) made their first raid on the Alaska Cannabis Club
- August 20, 2015, APD again raided the Alaska Cannabis Club
- September 2015, initial charges
- September 29, 2016, new additional charges
- February 26, 2016, arrested at Canadian Border for alleged marijuana residue in purse
In a video, Ms. Greene states, “Each time the officers acted outside of the scope of the warrant, conducting unlawful body searches on patients, threatening all patients and club volunteers with arrest if they didn’t consent to taking mug shot-like photos on the scene, destroying cameras, seizing vehicles not included in the warrant, and not leaving the lawfully required notice behind. “
“What’s more, in order to secure the ten felonies and four misdemeanors I was charged with for creating the Alaska Cannabis Club, the prosecutor blatantly lied to the grand jury, telling them that the Alaska Cannabis Club was a sole proprietorship, so there was no corporate liability shield.”
Meanwhile, another previous shop owner who was previously prosecuted claims that 6 months in prison, 6 months of in-home detention, and 1 year of probation has become the common sentence handed down for these cases in Alaska. Why are they throwing the book at Greene?
On February 25, 2016, Greene was detained and strip-searched at the Canadian border. Customs officials allegedly found marijuana residue mixed with lint at the bottom of her purse. She was charged with “suspicion of smuggling marijuana residue” and sent back to the United States after being held in customs for 9 hours. Charges were dropped, but entry to Canada was denied on this and on a later occasion.
Green’s Cannabis Freedom Fund has raised a mere $2,806 dollars from 80 contributors in 16 days. She fought back tears in her video when she disclosed that of the 4,000 medical marijuana card holders her club serviced, only one stood up for her in court. (Click on the link above to make a donation.)
Where is the financial and emotional support for this woman who was awarded the High Times Courage in Media Award, a woman Elle identified as one of the “13 Most Potent Women in the Pot Industry”? A woman who stuck her neck out to help others when her state was failing to deliver the promise they made when they legalized marijuana use for medical purposes? A state that has now legalized it for recreational purposes?
It is time for a smart, savvy lawyer to step up and defend this young woman. It is time we rally around and give her our support. And it is well past time we repeal every ridiculous law criminalizing the use, possession, and sale of marijuana.
- ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Anchor Explains Her Dramatic Exit – Huffington Post
- Cannabis Freedom Fund – Charlo Greene – Generosity by Indiegogo
- Reporter who quit on air to fight for pot legalization faces decades in prison – The Guardian
- Charlo Greene – Facebook
- Cannabis Freedom Fund – Charlo Greene – Generosity by Indiegogo
- Police raid pot club owned by Alaska TV reporter who had infamous ‘I quit’ – The Cannabist
- Alaska Marijuana Activist Charlo Greene Arrested at Canadian Border – Cannibus Culture
- Charlo Greene – Interview: