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.
Where cannabis is and isn't legal
Where cannabis is and isn't legal
Having been reclassified in 2009 from a Class C to a Class B drug, cannabis is now the most used illegal drug within the United Kingdom. The UK is also, however, the only country where Sativex – a prescribed drug that helps to combat muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis and contains some ingredients that are also found in cannabis - is licensed as a treatment
2/12 North Korea
Although many people believe the consumption of cannabis in North Korea to be legal, the official law regarding the drug has never been made entirely clear whilst under Kim Jong Un’s regime. However, it is said that the North Korean leader himself has openly said that he does not consider cannabis to be a drug and his regime doesn’t take any issue with the consumption or sale of the drug
MARCEL VAN HOORN/AFP/Getty Images
In the Netherlands smoking cannabis is legal, given that it is smoked within the designated ‘smoking areas’ and you don’t possess more than 5 grams for personal use. It is also legal to sell the substance, but only in specified coffee shops
Although in some states of America cannabis has now been legalised, prior to the legalisation, police in the U.S. could make a marijuana-related arrest every 42 seconds, according to US News and World Report. The country also used to spend around $3.6 billion a year enforcing marijuana law, the American Civil Liberties Union notes
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Despite cannabis being officially illegal in Spain, the European hotspot has recently started to be branded, ‘the new Amsterdam’. This is because across Spain there are over 700 ‘Cannabis Clubs’ – these are considered legal venues to consume cannabis in because the consumption of the drug is in private, and not in public. These figures have risen dramatically in the last three years – in 2010 there were just 40 Cannabis Clubs in the whole of Spain. Recent figures also show that in Catalonia alone there are 165,000 registered members of cannabis clubs – this amounts to over 5 million euros (£4 million) in revenue each month
In December 2013, the House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill legalizing and regulating the production and sale of the drug. But the president has since postponed the legalization of cannabis until to 2015 and when it is made legal, it will be the authorities who will grow the cannabis that can be sold legally. Buyers must be 18 or older, residents of Uruguay, and must register with the authorities
Despite the fact that laws prohibiting the sale and misuse of cannabis exist and is considered a habit only entertained by lower-income groups, it is very rarely enforced. The occasional use of cannabis in community gatherings is broadly tolerated as a centuries old custom. The open use of cannabis by Sufis and Hindus as a means to induce euphoria has never been challenged by the state. Further, large tracts of cannabis grow unchecked in the wild
In 2001, Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize the use of all drugs, and started treating drug users as sick people, instead of criminals. However, you can still be arrested or assigned mandatory rehab if you are caught several times in possession of drugs
9/12 Puerto Rico
Although the use of cannabis is currently illegal, it is said that Puerto Rico are in the process of decriminalising it
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The US state became the first in the country to legalise marijuana in January 2014. In February 2015, President Obama recently said he expects to see more states "looking into" legalisation. However, it is illegally to grow more than six cannabis plants and to possess more than 28 grams of the drug
Oaksterdam in Oakland, California, is the world's only university dedicated to the study and cultivation of cannabis. If you are court in California with anything up to an ounce of cannabis, you will be fine $100, but you will not get a criminal record, nor will you have to appear in court
Cannabis is grown in the wild and has been used to treat conditions such as gout and malaria. But, officially the substance is illegal to consume, possess and sell
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”.Reuse content