As punishment for bringing marijuana to Alaska, the entrepreneur faces a 54-year sentence
Charlo Greene : Alaska officials are seeking to burn one of the state’s most ardent advocates with a flurry of criminal charges, ostensibly in response to the growing number of legal cannabis businesses blooming in the state.
Between her hugely successful daily talk show, her new CBD beauty brand, and a variety of outreach projects, Charlo Greene is busier than ever and generally taking the cannabis world by storm.
Unlike many of LA’s top cannapreneurs, she, too, is paying a high price for weed’s early days, as well as her role in helping to develop the country’s fastest-growing employment industry.
In 2014, the then-reporter made headlines when she revealed live on Alaska station KTVA that she was quitting to focus on cannabis legalisation and access as co-founder of the Alaska Cannabis Club (ACC), which was the subject of her broadcast piece.
Even after Greene helped pass more flexible legislation in 2015, she continued to use her home as a venue for adults in legal possession of medicinal cannabis to share it with others—specifically, club members without their own supply who had no legal option to buy it under Alaska law, and many more.
Alaska officials, on the other hand, were clearly not thankful by 2016.
The state, according to The Guardian, “initiated a series of undercover operations and raids,” eventually charging the young activist with 10 felony and four misdemeanour crimes related to ACC operations, each carrying a maximum sentence of 54 years in prison.
Last July, she told the Guardian, “It’s almost dizzying when you attempt to make sense of it.” “It could end up costing me my entire adult life.”
Greene stated in an interview last week that she was charged with the offences in her native state after Alaskans decided to decriminalise cannabis for recreational use.
Alaska authorities were able to mount their case against her as the time to do so closed around them, she added, because the process of altering the statutes affects when laws actually start to take effect.
“Because of me, no one in Alaska will ever have to face what I’m facing right now,” she said over the phone.
Greene and her operation appear to have received special treatment from authorities in that country, according to all sources.
She stated that on the day police raided the club for the first time, a murder had occurred two blocks away, around three hours before police came at her house.
She claimed that “more than a dozen officers spent the entire day rummaging through my possessions.” “That murder is still unsolved two years later.”
As a result of her advocacy and Alaska’s opposition, Greene now has to devote a significant portion of her professional life to demonstrating the numerous benefits of cannabis reform to any possible jurors who may be watching, as well as the rest of the globe.
“My role today, as the person on trial, is to explain the why behind cannabis,” she explained.
Greene has stepped up her efforts to spread the word about cannabis with a rigorous broadcast schedule as her trial approaches this fall.
“The Weed Show,” which debuted earlier this year, has already included dozens of cannabis activists, patients, and creatives, as well as the entrepreneur’s own storey of victory and challenge with cannabis.
Greene presides over the show each weekday with warmth and wit, surrounded by samples of the industry’s leading products and brands (and often testing them), inviting guests to share their personal stories with the plant with her expanding audience of followers.
From veterans’ campaigners and doctors to porn stars and chefs, Greene and his crew have invited people from all walks of life to explain “the why behind weed” to audiences all around the world, showcasing a variety of old and new uses.
The experience has been both mind-opening and moving for Greene, a veteran writer and cannabis entrepreneur.
“We don’t always take time to take in what we’ve accomplished because my team and I work so hard—always there’s another deadline, always something we need to remember,” she explained.
“We’ve had a pregnant woman on our show using pot because it’s safer than the pharmaceuticals available, which can cause serious birth abnormalities.”
On the episode, we had an epilepsy-stricken 11-year-old make cannabis-infused PB&J.
“We had Jaden, a transgender veteran, pushing cannabis for helping warriors recover from combat injuries without harmful, addictive pain medication last week [during our veterans special].”
“I became a journalist because of this,” she continued. “To shed light on stories that can benefit others.”
In mainstream media, I didn’t have that opportunity, but now I’m the executive producer in a field that’s so new, with so much to learn and share.
It’s such a gift to finally be doing something for which I earned my degree.”
Meanwhile, the sector that Greene is trying to shape has been reluctant to respond in a variety of ways, particularly when it comes to black entrepreneurs.
Activists like Green have “taken a position to demand that individuals most affected by marijuana prohibition have a stake in the sector now” in California, she observed, although the state’s dispensary owners of colour account for less than 1% of the total.
“As one of the most visible persons in the cannabis sector, it’s very essential to me to show others that the industry is for them—that the community that exists right now is for them,” she added.
“You don’t have to fit anyone’s mould in cannabis; you may make your own.”
“If you look at prison stats, the majority of those who have served time and given their lives for their industry are disproportionately black and people of colour,” Greene said.
“It’s disappointing,” she expressed her disappointment. “The industry is aware of the situation, but the people in charge are the ones who have the most money.”
Despite the difficulties, Greene and her devoted supporters are undeterred in their mission to raise awareness and reform laws.
“It’s only natural that we do it during the legislative process.” Fortunately, Alaska and California have legalised marijuana in some form, and we’re forming partnerships to fight for your access to safe, clean medication.”
As arduous as that fight has been in some areas, Greene is all too aware with the process, having been targeted by politicians in her home state and having worked as a journalist and activist.
“Citizen initiatives are the only way for change to happen, and residents in many states may work together to pass proposals toward legalisation.”
While half of the states in the United States do not allow citizens to change laws through that procedure, Greene encourages those working on reform to persevere.
“Lobby, and explain what cannabis is, why it’s needed, and why it’s a positive thing, not a terrible thing.”
If you want to see that change, it’s entirely up to you.”
“As a reporter, I recognised that,” she explained. “A lot of people have asked me why I took that stance.
I didn’t have a personal stake in the [legalisation] fight in Alaska, like a grieving mother or grandmother, or a sick child who couldn’t get the prescription they needed.”
“I took that position for those who couldn’t,” she added, “and in the hopes that someone would do the same for my grandma.
” “If I couldn’t help her, I’d hope that someone else could.”
Greene has spent the time she has spent successfully developing her cannabis enterprises and preparing her public defence, Alaska has been ramping up its own entry into the rapidly booming market.
Following a series of significant setbacks, the state now wants to establish a workable regulatory network, as well as a number of cannabis-related business and community events, as soon as next month.
However, according to the much more well-established news site The Cannabist, Alaska’s present cannabis sector lacks a “single voice” to steer it through the difficult duties of state-wide management.
“What you have is a bunch of divergent voices who are probably near to being on the same page, but in a lot of situations are not,” lobbyist Taylor Bickford told the site.
Unfortunately for Alaska, a lack of strong leadership or a cohesive public voice is frequently the outcome of government attempts to quiet residents who speak out, as in Greene’s case.
Charlo Greene, on the other hand, has no intention of remaining silent, which is good news for the business as a whole.