Veteran journalist Peter Marcus is leaving the ambitious ColoradoPolitics.com website he helped launch last November in favor of a communications-director position with Terrapin Care Station, a marijuana dispensary chain that’s spreading beyond Colorado. And in explaining the factors that led to his decision, he makes an observation that speaks to the divergent trajectories of the two professions.
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Charlo Greene, the infamous Alaska news reporter who quit her job on-air to become a full-time cannabis business owner and activist, has been ordered to comply with a subpoena regarding alleged campaign finance misdoings.
As we reported last week, the state Public Offices Commission says Greene may have run afoul Alaska state laws with an online fundraising they say went directly to Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2, which legalized small amounts of pot for adults 21 and up.
Charlo Greene, the former news reporter who made herself famous in September by quitting her job on-air while admitting to being a cannabis activist, may have violated state campaign finance laws. The state Public Offices Commission says they are debating whether or not to subpoena Greene over an online fundraising they say went directly to Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2, which legalized small amounts of pot for adults 21 and up.
According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Greene admits she collected donations to the tune of $8,400. But says she wasn’t collecting for the measure and says she never had to register as an official entity advocating for a campaign, which is Alaska law.
For her part, Greene contends that the money collected on an online IndieGogo campaign was going to her own “freedom and fairness” campaign that wasn’t exactly linked to Measure 2. All the money, she says, went to her and her business – something the APOC has no jurisdiction over. Greene is starting a cannabis club in Alaska.
But APOC campaign disclosure coordinator Tom Lucas says that’s not the case. He says even businesses have to disclose their advocacy for or against a campaign or politician. He also noted that Greene has been difficult through the entire process.
“The fact that it is a business entity does not take it out of the jurisdiction of the Alaska Public Offices Commission,” Lucas said at a hearing yesterday, according to ADN. He also denied claims by Greene that Lucas had harassed her with constant calls and voicemails. He says he was merely trying to settling the issue. “The purpose of the contact was to try to bring her into compliance as soon as possible so any civil penalties that could be growing could be stopped in their tracks.”
Greene says she’s being targeted for being an outspoken opponent. She says that other campaign groups that are directly tied to campaigns – including ones on Facebook – have not faced the same scrutiny.
“We understand the position that we’re put in and that we have extra scrutiny paid to us and probably will for a long time,” Greene told the commission yesterday. “But we just want to make sure we understand the position we’ve been put in and protect ourselves and other people’s rights.”
It might not have been a fruitful election for President Obama and his fellow Democrats, but one faction of lefties and libertarians had a banner day: We’re talking about drug-decriminalization supporters. Voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved the legalization of limited amounts of recreational marijuana for the 21-and-older set. Californians approved categorizing minor drug possession as a misdemeanor, via Proposition 47. And New Jersey reformed its bail system in a way that will keep many low-level drug offenders out of prison.
But when it comes to marijuana, California is looking like the never-the-bride bridesmaid again this year. Despite our groundbreaking, 1996 initiative that made us the first state in the union to legalize medical marijuana, the Golden State has been slow to join the recreational craze. Activists say that’s about to change.
As the television camera lights shine on Pat McLellan’s face, he holds up a set of four sheets of paper, each a signed pledge from a gubernatorial candidate saying that they support expanding Minnesota’s medical cannabis laws.
He takes a breath, then spreads the papers out across the podium in front of him. They’re all here, he says. GOP candidate Jeff Johnson. The Independence Party’s Hannah Nicollet. Libertarian Chris Holbrook and Grassroots Party candidate Chris Wright. But one’s missing: incumbent Mark Dayton.
Charlo Greene, a TV reporter in Anchorage, Alaska, knows how to make an exit. During a report last night on the 10 o’clock news in Anchorage, Greene did a report on the Alaska Cannabis Club – a local group pushing for the legalization of limited amounts of cannabis this fall. When the station panned back to Greene for the live shot, she dropped a bomb on everyone: she’s the owner of the club.
As for her reporter job? Greene puts it bluntly: “Fuck it.”
Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton named 16 people to a task force that’s responsible for evaluating the state’s medical cannabis program. The list is a mixed bag, including eight healthcare providers and four members of the public — but also four opponents from the law enforcement community.
None of them have been content to sit on the sidelines. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, for instance, once wrote an op-ed calling cannabis “the most dangerous illegal drug in our nation,” and reaffirmed that position last November, mocking the use of the term “medical.”
Backers of Initiative 71, which would legalize the possession and use of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up in our nation’s capitol, say they are just a few days from submitting 60,000 signatures to get their proposal on the November ballot.
That is, if the U.S. Congress lets them.
If it isn’t going to be legalized, adults who choose to consume cannabis shouldn’t be treated like criminals. That idea is the basis for citywide ballot measures in Lewiston, South Portland and York that would decriminalize up to an ounce of herb as well as the use of ganja on private property.
Public use would remain illegal. So would selling it, growing it, distributing it, importing it and even smoking it in your rental unit if your lease forbids it.
|A still from Vice’s interview with José Mujica.|
Marijuana use, cultivation and sales of limited amounts is now legal in Uruguay, though the country is still working out the kinks on just how it will be grown. Uruguayan President José Mujica, 78, has made it clear that he’s never tried marijuana and that he doesn’t intend to do so, but he thinks is insane to continue arresting people for the plant.
It’s a big story: a country legalizing a plant that is illegal pretty much everywhere else around the world. So Vice Magazine sent reporter Krishna Andavolu down there to investigate and interview Mujica — where he promptly lit up a doobie in the nation’s leader’s garden.