Aug 292016
 August 29, 2016

CHARLOGREENE.COM

THE LYNCHING OF CHARLO GREENE
Facing 24 years in prison over legal pot, this is a blog documenting my fight.

A friend asked me a really good question today:

“Where is everyone that you helped and said they supported you, now that you’re facing 24 years in prison for ‘F*ck it?'”

We were arguing over whether or not I should’ve said it. My friend, who is black, told me it was a mistake. That white people hate when they see an educated, black woman take a stand for something. Just look at Leslie Jones. That maybe if I had just said, ‘I quit’ without the expletive, I wouldn’t be seen as just another “loud, black bitch”.

I told him I had no regrets. ‘F*ck it’ accomplished its goals of getting patients access to life saving medicine and eliminating the ability of law enforcement to destroy someone’s life over a plant in Alaska. I told him that it was worth sacrificing my journalism career (which, in spite of popular belief, I l LOVED) knowing that I’d inspired millions and hearing how much I’m helping the patients I serve.

Then he asked, “Where is everyone that you helped and said they supported you, now that you’re facing 24 years in prison for ‘F*ck it?'”

They’re nowhere to be found.

See, I created the Alaska Cannabis Club on April 20, 2014. On November 4, 2014, Alaska legalized adult use of cannabis, which seemed unlikely at the time because public support of the initiative was only around 40%… until ‘Fuck it’ (September 22, 2014), which sparked a movement that managed to secure 53% of the vote in support of legalization over the next five weeks.

On February 24, 2015, Alaska’s new cannabis laws took effect, making it legal to exchange up to 1 ounce of cannabis between adults.

On March 20, 2015, the Anchorage Police Department sent in 12 armed police in swat gear to raid the Alaska Cannabis Club.
In August 2015, APD raided the Club again.

Each time, the officers acted outside the scope of the warrant, 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.

What’s more, in order to secure the 10 felonies and four misdemeanors I’m now facing for creating the Alaska Cannabis Club, the prosecutor blatantly lied to the grand jury, telling them the Alaska Cannabis Club was a sole proprietorship so there was no corporate liability shield.

Excerpt from grand jury transcript:

JUROR: I don’t understand [defendant] can be held criminally accountable for actions where we don’t see her actions in any of the – in any transactions here.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Uh-huh

JUROR: Aside from the search warrant where [defendant is] present, which I don’t have a question about.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Okay.

JUROR: But [defendant is] not present for transaction.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Uh-huh.

JUROR: So I – I’m wondering if you can explain to me how [defendant is] now criminally charged.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: So the Alaska Cannabis Club is a sole proprietorship. It’s owned by one person. So there’s not corporate liability, like you think of when there’s a company involved like a –

JUROR: There’s a sole proprietor, likely –

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Right –

JUROR: Yeah

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: — Is it – so that’s why you’ll notice the charging document is Charlene Egbe doing business as Alaska Cannabis Club. They are essentially one and the same…

That was all said in spite of the district attorney knowing that on May 6, 2014, I filed the articles of incorporation for Alaska Wellness Consultants LLC dba Alaska Cannabis Club with the State of Alaska Department of Commerce. Not only is that information easily found on the state’s own website, but it’s also on file with the IRS and the insurers of the Club…

On the first court date of my case, every media outlet across the state attended. They all publicized it beforehand, so everyone in Alaska knew. More than 100 million people around the world watched me quit. And of the now 4,000 members of the Alaska Cannabis Club we’ve served to date, there was literally only one person there to support me.

He was/is a member of the Club who suffers from a severe condition that forces his body into tremors and convulsions and eliminates his ability to speak. The Alaska Cannabis Club, which is organized as a private patient collective and remains the state’s only safe access point to date, gave him back his ability to speak.
The judge granted his request to address the court before the proceedings and when he stood up, the entire courtroom watched as his body jerked uncontrollably with each step to the podium. Finally, there, he began to speak in a manner I was familiar with, because of our relationship at the Club, but required the rest of the room to lean in, focus and patiently work to piece together the bits and pieces of words he managed to get out every few seconds. Then, he pulled out a vape pen.

He hit the THC and CBD filled vape pen once and the room watched his body immediately stop convulsing. He spoke the entire time to show the room the effect the cannabinoids were having on his condition as it was taking effect and it was miraculous. We watched and listened as cannabis eased his body and loosened his tongue enough for him to tell the judge, “You see what this does for me. This has given me back my life. Please don’t take my care giver away.”

I can’t tell you how alone I felt in that courtroom and continue to feel each day. I’m out literally fighting for my life, my future because I took a stand for all of you and for justice and freedom. But knowing that I helped just one person enough, so much that he felt compelled to stand up for me, makes this trial bearable. And I will always remember him as a personal hero for that.

But meanwhile, where is everyone else at?

This is the first of many blog posts on the state’s attempt to end my life, my modern day lynching.

Charlo

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About Charlo Greene

Charlo Greene is a broadcast journalist and media expert turned activist and businesswoman who has emerged as a leading voice in the ongoing conversation about legalization, as well as diversity, in the cannabis community after garnering more than 100 MILLION VIEWS online. Charlo became a recognized leader in cannabis activism in September 2014, when she punctuated her on-air report on the Alaska Cannabis Club with the bombshell that she was the club’s founder and owner, proudly declared her activism and signed off for the last time with, “F*ck it, I quit…” Immediately following her exit, Charlo successfully led the charge in Alaska’s 2014 effort to legalize recreational marijuana, securing Alaska’s place as the third state in the nation (and first Republican-led state) to legalize usage for adults. ​ A longtime (and until late 2014, underground) activist in the cannabis community, Charlo is fast establishing herself as a bona fide force for worldwide change—and as one of the few women of color in leadership positions in the industry, she has a unique voice that demands to be heard. ​ Through her socially conscious organization Go GREENE, Charlo is joining forces with nationwide grassroots activism campaigns that seek to change the way we think about cannabis. Go GREENE is the first of several new ventures that Charlo is set to introduce, including one designed for women who are as passionate about cannabis as she is. Charlo is the first of seven children to obtain a college degree, completing her Bachelors in Broadcast News & Communications at University of Texas at Arlington, where she graduated cum laude, remaining on the Dean's List for six semesters. She currently belongs to the Minority Cannabis Business Association, and serves on the Board of Advisors for MD Herb - a leading online medical marijuana resource. Additionally, Charlo also serves as CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club (akcannabisclub.com), Alaska's first and only legal marijuana resource. Through her accomplishments and uncompromising pursuit of cannabis reform, is recognized as one of the most influential women in the cannabis reform movement.
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