Anchor Who Quit On Air To Run Pot Co-Op Faces 54 Years In Prison

By Seth Ferranti 10/05/16

Charlo Greene has been indicted on multiple felonies by the Alaska AG for running the Alaska Cannabis Club, her weed co-op. 

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Anchor Who Quit On Air To Run Pot Co-Op Faces 54 Years In Prison
Charlo Greene Photo via Complex/YouTube

Charlo Greene, a marijuana advocate and journalist in Alaska, is facing up to 54 years in prison for marijuana charges. The reporter-turned-marijuana-caregiver was thrust into the spotlight after quitting her KTVA reporter job on air in 2014 while profiling an underground cannabis club that she secretly founded.

Her quip, “Fuck it, I quit” went viral on YouTube, but since that public announcement Greene has been unfairly targeted and pursued by the jack-booted thugs who masquerade under the guise of Alaskan medical marijuana adversaries. 

“Twelve police officers in all-black SWAT gear with massive guns, rushing into the front door, unannounced,” Greene told Complex. “At the time, it was [me], two of my younger sisters, older brother and older sister, and four patients that were all being held up by our own police. It was terrifying. My biggest concern was my brother. Black men were getting shot for nothing. My brother was in a position that if he were to flinch or say the wrong thing, his life would be over.”

Since March 2015 her weed co-op, the Alaska Cannabis Club, has been raided twice by the Anchorage Police Department. After police showed up a second time in August 2015, Greene decided to press the state and challenge the legality of the raids.

After her lawyer contacted authorities, questioning why they kept raiding her with no charges pending, the Attorney General answered by indicting Greene on multiple felonies, each carrying up to five years. Greene is now facing up to 54 years in prison for running the co-op. 

“[My attorney] said that if I wanted to continue to press on it, she’d have to contact the Attorney General who would have to ask questions which might lead to official charges,” Greene told Complex. “I told her I would prefer a day in court over them coming in and terrorizing my family every couple months.”

Greene has also called into question the conduct of the SWAT team that raided her club. “Each time, the officers acted outside the scope of the warrant,” Greene wrote on her blog. “Conducting unlawful body searches on patients, threatening all patients and Club volunteers with arrest if they didn’t consent to taking mugshot-like photos on the scene, destroying cameras, seizing vehicles not included in the warrant and not leaving the lawfully required notice behind.”

Greene says she is fighting this battle alone, with only her club behind her, but her story is finally starting to gain traction in the press.

In the marijuana industry, black Americans have been subject to discriminatory law enforcement, but Greene is standing up for her and her patients' rights in Alaska. With billions of dollars being made off marijuana nationally, there’s a definite need for more advocacy organizations to protect individuals' rights. 

“It feels like I’m in this alone and it shouldn’t,” Greene told Complex. “I’m supposed to be part of this huge community and it doesn’t feel like it."

She continued: "This could create the justice that the legalization initiative should have brought with it. No one should be going to jail for a plant, period. Not for a legal plant. If it can happen to someone as visible as I am with the resources that I have, then you know it’s happening to people everywhere. If I can use the position, I’m going to stop it.”

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After landing on the US Marshals Top-15 Most Wanted list and being sentenced to a 25 year sentence in federal prison for a first-time, nonviolent LSD offense, Seth built a writing and journalism career from his cell block. His raw portrayals of prison life and crack era gangsters graced the pages of Don DivaHoopshype and VICE. From prison he established Gorilla Convict, a true-crime publisher and website that documents the stories that the mainstream media can’t get with books like Prison Stories and Street Legends. His story has been covered by The Washington PostThe Washington Times, and Rolling Stone.

Since his release in 2015 he’s worked hard to launch GR1ND Studios, where true crime and comics clash. GR1ND Studios is bringing variety to the comic shelf by way of the American underground. These groundbreaking graphic novels tell the true story of prohibition-era mobsters, inner-city drug lords, and suburban drug dealers. Seth is currently working out of St. Louis, Missouri, writing for The FixVICEOZY, Daily Beast, and Penthouse and moving into the world of film. Check out his first short, Easter Bunny Assassin at sethferranti.com. You can find Seth on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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