Charlo Greene: Reporter who quit on live TV over cannabis legalisation could now face even more time in prison

Ms Greene could now spend 54 years in prison instead of her original indictment for up to 24 years

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Charlo Greene, the news reporter who quit her job on live television by outing herself as the owner of the Alaskan Cannabis Club and saying “f*ck it”, is facing more serious criminal charges than the eight counts previously announced.

Ms Greene, whose club was hit by an undercover police sting, has been handed a total of 14 charges with the possibility of up to 54 years in prison – more than double the original indictment of a possible 24 years.

While working as a reporter for KTVA, a station in Alaska, Ms Greene revealed she was the owner of the club, which was the subject of her news report, and was in favour of the legalisation of cannabis in the US state.

“Now everything you 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 legalising marijuana here in Alaska,” she said.

“And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit,” she said, before abruptly walking off-air on 22 September 2014. Within hours, the 26-year-old had become a viral star.

Since then, Ms Greene has made a name for herself as a cannabis advocate and has spent her time campaigning for people to access marijuana after Alaska became the third state in the US to legalise recreational marijuana in November 2014.

However, this has not ended well. 

Documents supplied by the state attorney general's office to The Independent reveal detectives immediately targeted the operation with six undercover purchases and two raids in the space of five months.

Ms Greene has been charged with ten offences for either the supply or possession of cannabis over one ounce on a number of different dates when detectives visited the club. These charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison each.

She has also been charged with four more minor offences for the supply or possession of smaller amounts, wihich carry the threat of one year in prison each.

An earlier document also supplied by the office showed the eight original charges made towards Ms Greene and set out details showing she was not directly involved in any of the undercover transactions made, yet state prosecutors exclusively charged her, noting the club was registered in her name.

Ms Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, has pleaded not guilty, with a trial expected to be held in the following months.

“It’s almost dizzying when you try to make sense of it,” Greene told The Guardian. “It could literally cost me the rest of my adult life.”

Although Alaska legalised the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana in 2014, it only came into effect in February 2015. Even though the state had not settled its regulations for retail operations in the interim provisional period, the Alaska Cannabis Club reportedly allowed people to purchase “memberships” and supplied marijuana when members made “donations”.