By Jacob Condo, Staff Writer
In case you think we live in a country where the rights of our citizens matter, I invite you to examine the current plight of the infamous “F*** it, I quit” reporter and cannabis activist, Charlo Greene.
The former Alaskan news anchor became an internet sensation back in 2014 when she quit her job live and on the air to fight for marijuana legalization. Now, because of marijuana, she’s in danger of spending twenty-four years in prison in Alaska, where it’s perfectly legal to possess cannabis.
Yes, you read that right. In a state where the possession, production, and sale of marijuana is completely legal, a marijuana activist was not only arrested but is also on trial for business practices involving her Alaska Cannabis Club.
Despite the law legalizing pot coming into effect in February of last year, the Anchorage Police Department conducted not one but two raids on Greene’s Alaska Cannabis Club. It comes as no surprise that their conduct during both raids was blatantly unprofessional.
The police acted well outside the scope of their warrants: they threatened arrests for noncompliance, seized cars, and destroyed cameras.
Apparently, the problem was with how Greene’s organization was giving their membership owners complementary pot whenever they made donations.
Confused? Don’t worry, I am too, as well as the jurors and everyone else with either common sense or a basic understanding of the law.
I think maybe the police department just missed all the money the DEA threw at them for arresting stoners.
Right now, you’re probably wondering how on earth something this blatantly idiotic could happen. Well, it’s all got to do with how Alaskan lawmakers have been having trouble ironing-out the laws and practices concerning the retail sale of cannabis.
Without clear definitions regarding laws, both sides of the law get a little bit of “wiggle room” to test the limits of what’s legal.
So, if certain police departments or politicians want the glory days of getting kickbacks for easy drug arrests in this time of pot legalization, they have to look for cracks in the system.
If Greene loses this case, not only does she get two decades for something ridiculous, but the old prohibitionists get a foothold. They won’t get cannabis to be illegal, since that would most likely backfire on them, but this case is merely the last swipes of a dying tiger.
This doesn’t make it any less serious for Greene, whose life is in danger of being ruined.
In 2014, the world rallied to this woman for taking a stand on national television and helped us all get a little closer to nation-wide legalization.
Now, she’s going through hell and the world has gone quiet. The worst part is that she wasn’t even personally involved in any of the transactions.
So even if the Alaska Cannabis Club’s transactions are defined as illegal after this case, Greene still had nothing to do with it. So why are they targeting her?
According to the district attorney, she has sole proprietorship of the club, meaning she’d be held accountable.
Now I don’t know about you, but this seems absolutely farcical to me, and yet another display of how law enforcement abuses its authority for petty displays of power.
What needs to happen now is that we need to stand with Greene like we did two years ago. Right now, she’s not getting a lot of support (at least, not like she was when she quit on national television) and is understandably feeling very alone.
She’s not a messiah, and she’s probably not the only person facing charges like this. There are people in American prisons today who are spending decades in prison just for holding a small amount of cannabis, some just carrying joints.
But if the people make a stand in this case, we set a precedent. We could let cops, legislators, and lobbyists know, once and for all, that we’re not going to put up with this kind of treatment under the law any longer.