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Two years ago, Charlo Greene, a news anchor for local Alaska channel, was doing a segment on the Alaska Cannabis Club when she went off-script to reveal that she was actually the owner of this club. "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 on live television, before declaring, like a boss, "Fuck it, I quit." The camera then cut to a flummoxed anchor who apologized. Soon after, the clip went viral.
Now, after a fucked up turn of events, Greene faces 24 years in prison with eight charges of "misconduct involving a controlled substance" even though Alaska became the third state to legalize marijuana, in November 2014 (two months after Greene's on-air resignation). The legalization didn't go in effect until February 2015, and between those months, cops raided Greene's cannabis club twice and made six undercover purchases, allowing them to charge her with "serious criminal offenses."
In an interview with The Guardian, Greene said, "It's almost dizzying when you try to make sense of it. It could literally cost me the rest of my adult life." If convicted, the 28-year-old will be 52 by the time she gets out—for such a minor offense, if an offense at all. Greene has also referred to her case as "modern day lynching"—words that sadly ring true when considering people of color are often targeted in cases of minor marijuana charges.
Greene says she became an advocate for marijuana legalization because of its medicinal benefits. "This could literally be changing these people's lives," she said. The Alaska PD's John Skidmore stands by the decision, saying, "You need to follow the regulations and do so in a legal fashion." So charge her with a fine, not 24 years in federal prison.
Greene pleaded not guilty. She will stand trial in the upcoming months.