A couple of years ago, former TV reporter Charlo Greene shocked viewers when she announced that she was quitting her job during a live broadcast of KTVA News to support the legalization of cannabis. Greene made the announcement after she admitted that she was the president of the cannabis club that she was doing a report on.
"F*** it, I quit", she said before abruptly walking off camera and leaving her colleagues shocked. She quickly became a viral sensation overnight because of her controversial resignation.
[Warning: Video contains strong language]That was two years ago in 2014 and her life ever since she quit journalism has taken a dark turn. She had already gotten eight counts filed against her by the Alaska attorney general's office, but now it seems that her sentence could get heavier. The attorney general's office has just tacked on an additional six charges against Greene, and she could now face spending up to 54 years in prison, according to a report from The Guardian. Greene said she was not aware of the new charges when contacted by a reporter.
After quitting her job as a news reporter, Greene quickly became a full-time marijuana advocate, working to help Alaskans get access to pot after the state became just the third in the U.S. to legalize the use of recreational pot back in November 2014.
However, despite all of her efforts, her plight continues to remain largely ignored. This is because Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, is the founder of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which she started in April 2014. This means that her marijuana club was already getting "donations" through "club memberships" several months before it was legal to do so.
Police have already raided her club twice in 2015 and detectives were also able to make undercover purchases, and even though she (Greene) was not directly involved in them, state prosecutors are still going to file charges against her because the club is registered under her name. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of "misconduct involving a controlled substance."
In a video posted on her website, the 28-year-old Greene has called her case a "modern day lynching," but she is hoping that the marijuana community will rally behind her.
"I need help more than ever," she said.
"Now that I could lose the rest of my life because of cannabis, it feels like the people I fought for have abandoned me."The former TV reporter first developed an interest in marijuana during her college years after she discovered that it was a much better alternative to alcohol. After working at news stations in West Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee, Greene returned to her home state of Alaska where she worked for the CBS affiliate KTVA and was assigned to report on crime and courts - and eventually cannabis.
Greene became passionate about the medicinal value of marijuana after she met up with activists in Colorado and Washington - the first states that legalized the use of recreational marijuana.
She said that this was something she had been taking for granted because she felt that it could really help change people's lives.
The state of Alaska has a rather complicated history of confusing and somewhat contradicting rules concerning the use of marijuana. It was the very first state to legalize the in-home use of marijuana back in the 1970's and by 1998 it had passed a formal medical law. One of the problems with this is that officials had never really created a system that allowed the licensing of dispensaries, meaning cannabis users did not have many legal options to choose from.
While experts believe that there is a good chance that Greene will not have to face decades behind bars, she still struggles trying not to worry about how this could possibly end up ruining her life.
[Featured Image by Mark Thiessen/AP Images]