"Fuck it, I quit." Were the comments made by former news caster Charlo Greene in September of 2014 before she walked out off her job to pursue her dream as the legal owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club.
Since then, her life has been turned upside down. By doing what she did so publicly...and being Black, she was bound to attract the attention of law enforcement looking to make an example out of her.
Since her public resignation from the news business, and the launching of her Black-owned marijuana company, her business has been raided despite the fact that Alaska legalized cannabis in September of 2014. In an era when white-owned pot companies are bringing in millions in profits, it is the outspoken owner of a Black-owned business that is potentially going to spend the rest of her adult life behind bars.
Why you may ask? Outside of the fact that she's clearly a smart and intelligent Black woman looking to cash in on an emerging industry that is in the beginning stages of exploding (in a positive way I mean) - Cynthia Franklin, the Director of Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control office states that Greene should face a stiff penalty because she "launched early." Meaning they're saying that because the Alaska Cannabis Club launched before the September 2014 vote, then what they did was illegal and therefore she should be in prison for 50 years.
This exemplifies everything negative that is said about the drug war and is a direct example of the clear and obvious double standards in how drug laws are applied. The message being sent across the country is clear - the establishment wants the legal marijuana industry to be a "whites-only" industry. You can see it in how the laws are being written on the state level...essentially preventing middle-class families from starting a marijuana business due to the unnecessarily high cost of entry into the sector. Even if you are fortunate enough to have the money, you're likely looking at stiff competition and will see yourself sitting on a waiting list to be given the right to sell and distribute marijuana...allowing the state to further be selective about who they allow to profit and who they don't allow to profit from this industry.
Back in March, a blog article was written on this site that addressed some of the concerns about the legal cannabis industry and how Blacks were being shut out of it. Most importantly, 4 reasons were given as to why Black people should try to jump into this field. Outside of starting a marijuana dispensary, there is also the ability to buy and trade pot stocks...which have been soaring recently over the past couple months due to impending legalization laws coming down the pipe in November. Investing may be the best option for most Black people right now since starting a company is going to be out of most people's price range - by design.
Charlo Greene was an exception to the rule. She was one of the few Black people who actually owned a legal marijuana club. Part of this was due to the fact that she had a job that paid very well and could afford to do what most Black people can't. No pun intended, but that now looks to be going up in smoke.
I hope something happens to prevent this tragedy from playing out. Will Charlo Greene REALLY do 50 years in a state where White men and women are making millions outside the very jail cell she may be kept like a slave in?
But, but, but...the drug war is not a war on Black and Brown people. Yea, kindly GTFOH.