If there was ever a time that America needs a Nat Turner, it surely needs one now. While Blacks have suffered disproportionately for marijuana usage over the years, now that it is being legalized state by state, America wants to make it clear that Blacks should not try to cash in on the new green gold economy.
Charlo Greene made headlines in 2014 when the then 26-year-old memorably quit her TV reporting gig on air while announcing her intention to push for the legalization of marijuana in Alaska: She said, “Fuck it, I quit,” before walking out of view. But as the Guardian reports, her ensuing off-screen plight has been largely ignored, even though she faces more than a half-century in prison.
Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, isn’t just a cannabis advocate but the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which she created on April 20, 2014, a full six months before Alaska voted to legalize the adult use of cannabis. In other words, she was receiving “donations” for marijuana through club “memberships” before it was legal to do so.
Police raided the club twice and detectives made several undercover purchases, and though Greene wasn’t directly involved in them, state prosecutors are charging her because the club is registered under her name. She’s pleaded not guilty to charges of “misconduct involving a controlled substance,” and the original indictment listed eight offenses that amounted to a possible 24 years in jail.
The Guardian broke the news to Greene that six offenses have since been added, raising the total to 54 years. Greene calls this a “modern-day lynching,” and tells 18 Karat Reggae that she hopes the cannabis community rallies behind her. “I need help more than ever,” she says. “Now that I could lose the rest of my life because of cannabis, it feels like the people I fought for have abandoned me.”