It’s time to Break It Down!
If you are a regular reader, you know the range of topics I cover in this space runs the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. Be forewarned, today’s post is closer to the latter than the former.
The post itself will be relatively short. There really is not much to say, but I wanted to say it anyway.
On this past Sunday evening, Charlene Egby, A.K.A. Charlo Greene, either quit, or was fired by her employer, KTVA TV News, in Anchorage, Alaska. In the event you have neither seen, nor heard about the pyrotechnics that ensued regarding Ms. Egby/Greene, this is how it went down. At the end of her Sunday evening news segment, she uttered an expletive, and strode off camera. But not before she revealed that she was a principal in the Cannabis story on which she had just reported.
Her actions, apparently, were tied to her role as the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, and as an advocate for passing a pot initiative that appears on the upcoming November ballot in Alaska. She has since made her own videos, explaining why she quit on camera, as she did. Interestingly, KTVA released a statement after her dramatic exit indicating they terminated her.
The Alaska Marijuana Legalization, Ballot Measure 2 (2014) is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Alaska as an initiated state statute. If the voters of Alaska approve the measure, people age 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants. The approved measure would also make the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia legal. While these changes would be implemented at the state level, as in other states with approved marijuana laws, all these acts and items would still remain illegal under federal law.
Alaska is often thought of as the last frontier. The issue of marijuana has had an interesting and circuitous history in the state. In 1975, the state legislature approved a bill to decriminalize private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in public, as a result replacing the possibility of jail time with a civil fine of up to $100. In response, the State Supreme Court eliminated all penalties for possessing up to four ounces of marijuana and up to 24 plants in one’s home, ruling that the prohibition of marijuana possession violated the right to privacy guaranteed by the state constitution. This ruling led to dropping the $100 fine for possessing up to four ounces in 1982.
Fast-forward to 1990, and all this was undone by the approval of the Alaska Marijuana Criminalization Initiative, which made all marijuana possession in Alaska illegal and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine. But hold on; the Alaska Court of Appeals overturned the law established by the Initiative, and upheld the previous law.
Again in 2006, legislators attempted to overturn the law, but were unsuccessful. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 1998 with the approval of Measure 8.
This is the third attempt in 15 years to decriminalize marijuana in Alaska. Voters defeated Measure 5 in 2000. That initiative sought to eliminate civil and criminal penalties for persons 18 years or older, who use marijuana or other hemp products. The legalization of recreational marijuana was defeated again in 2004 when Measure 2, which would have removed civil and criminal penalties under state law for persons 21 years old or older who grow, use sell, or give away marijuana or hemp products, failed.
Supporters of marijuana use in Alaska viewed 2012 marijuana ballot measures as an emerging trend that boosted hopes for future initiatives. The 2012 elections yielded a number of successes by legalization support groups. In the state of Washington, voters approved Initiative 502, legalizing recreational marijuana use. Coloradans approved Amendment 64 in the same election. While a similar measure failed in Oregon, Alaska supporters believe the trend line is favorable.
If you have seen or hear about the segment, you already know. But, if you haven’t, Ms. Greene (her news reporter name) said:
“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 legalizing marijuana here in Alaska.
And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit.”
To that end, she issued the quintessential resignation statement. “Take This Job A Shove It; Or Words To That Effect!”
I’m done; holla back!
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