"F**k it, I quit."
Alaskan television reporter Charlo Greene had just finished an on-air segment about a new medical marijuana business on Sunday night when she made a spectacular announcement: she secretly owned the venture and would be leaving journalism to push for marijuana legalization.
“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 legalizing marijuana here in Alaska," she said in a move that her employers, KVTA, a local CBS affiliate, reportedly did not expect. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit.”
Marijuana is currently legal for recreational use in two states, Colorado and Washington. Voters in Alaska will have the chance to approve the cultivation, sale and possession of the drug in November.
Alaska already has relatively liberal cannabis laws and medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 1998. The initiative to legalize recreation use, however, might not be successful. A May survey by Public Policy Polling found 48 percent of Alaskans backed the measure while 45 percent opposed it.
The video of Greene's stunning statement swept across the Internet on Monday, gaining traction on YouTube, Reddit and Twitter. The news director at KVTA did not respond to a request for comment, but a pop-up installed on the website's homepage apologized for the "inappropriate language" used in the segment and said the reporter had been "terminated."
While Fusion could not reach Greene for comment, she told the Alaska Dispatch News she made the decision to draw attention to restrictive medical marijuana laws that limit patient access to the drug. "If I offended anyone, I apologize, but I’m not sorry for the choice that I made," she said.
Greene also launched a fundraising campaign on the website Indiegogo, where she is seeking $5,000 to raise awareness among Alaska voters about what she says is the need to end marijuana prohibition. She uploaded a video to Youtube on Monday explaining her motives.
Greene had apparently reported on the marijuana industry in the past. Photos posted to her Facebook page in April show her touring an unnamed marijuana grow facility. In another photo, she holds a joint, lighter and a nugget of marijuana in view of the Denver skyline.
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.