The Alaska reporter who quit on the air with a resounding “[F–k] it” is now facing charges on 14 serious criminal offenses, which could land her in prison for 54 years, The Guardian reports.
It all started Sept. 22, 2014, when Charlo Greene, then a reporter for Alaska station KTVA, ended a report on the Alaska Cannabis Club by revealing that she was the owner of the club, and then quit her reporting job.
“Now, everything you’ve 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,” Greene announced at the end of her segment to the shock of viewers and co-workers. “And as for this job, well—not that I have a choice—but [f–k] it, I quit.”
Greene then launched herself into the world of being a full-time advocate for weed legalization, fighting to help Alaskans access marijuana after Alaska became the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2014, The Guardian notes.
However, instead of helping her start a legitimate marijuana operation, the state launched multiple undercover operations and raids at her club, slapping her with charges. The Guardian originally reported that she was charged with eight criminal offenses of “misconduct involving a controlled substance,” which could land her in prison for 24 years if convicted.
“It’s almost dizzying when you try to make sense of it,” Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, told The Guardian in an interview. “It could literally cost me the rest of my adult life.”
However, The Guardian later updated its report, saying that a spokesperson with the Alaska Attorney General’s Office said that Greene was actually facing charges on 14 offenses, which could land her in prison for up to 54 years total.
Greene, The Guardian reports, said that she was not aware of the astronomic change in her possible sentence if convicted.
Regarding the original case, Greene described her prosecution as a “modern-day lynching,” raising questions about the ongoing war on drugs and the impact her case could have on law-enforcement implications as other states debate the legalization of marijuana.
According to The Guardian, when the 2014 law went into effect in early 2015 in Alaska, legalizing the manufacture, sale and possession of cannabis in the state, regulations for retail operations had not been yet finalized.
The Alaska Cannabis Club sold “memberships” to people, giving them marijuana when they made “donations.” Investigators reportedly targeted the club, with six undercover purchases and two raids over a five-month period.
“The fact that they were watching us for so long, I kind of felt violated,” Jennifer Egbe, Greene’s sister, who helped out at the establishment, told The Guardian. “I was really just heartbroken. I never assumed it would go this far.”
Greene told The Guardian that the raids made her fearful that one of her four siblings could be shot by police.
“I saw all my siblings … with these guns that my tax dollars paid for pointed at them for what was now legal,” she told The Guardian.
According to the report, although court records show that Greene was not directly involved in any of the transactions involving undercover agents, state prosecutors charged only her, saying that the club was registered under her name.
Greene has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to face trial in the coming months.
Read more at The Guardian.