Who could forget Charlo Greene, the eminently badass TV reporter who quit her job in the most massive blaze of glory imaginable: live, on-air, while covering a story on the Alaska Cannabis Club for KTVA in Anchorage.
"I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be devoting all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska," Greene told thousands of viewers the evening of September 21, 2014, pausing for dramatic effect. "And as for this job - well, not that I have a choice, but fuck it. I quit."
We spoke with Greene when she was in Toronto, joining Women Grow for a networking event.
"I knew that I was one of the only people that had all the tools necessary to take action and effect positive change," Greene tells Civilized. "I decided to act on that. I became a journalist because I wanted to make a difference, and this was a way I could do that."
"I decided I would step away and do it in the most public fashion I could. I just spoke from my heart."
Greene described her choice to quit on-air as a calculated risk.
"I had been smoking cannabis for years and years, and I knew that there was a lot of bullshit being thrown out by the prohibitionists. Everything they put out there - and have been putting out there for years - is lies. I knew that I had to report on it fairly, but once I met the patients being harmed by the lies spread by the opposition, that's when I looked at why I became a journalist: to make an impact and do good. If that meant using the position I was in to actually help people, instead of just serving a TV station and getting more ratings, then I think I made the virtuous choice."
"I made a decision based on something way higher than a job."
"I knew that was the last time I was ever going to work as a journalist. But I was walking away from that. That book in my life is closed," says Greene.
But as she shut the door on one career, another opened. In 2014, she founded the advocacy group Go Greene with the mission to "cultivate diversity in cannabis activism and industry through educational, recreational and professional networking events for activists, potential entrepreneurs, and cannabusiness industry leaders."
Her on-air resignation was also aimed at drawing maximum attention to the cause of legalization.
"We used that attention and momentum to ignite freedom fighters all over the state," says Greene. "We drove and flew to villages all over Alaska, and took the opportunity to educate the community about the need for legal weed. More than 100 million views of the video later, and headline after headline, we went from 46 percent of Ballot Measure 2 [the November 4, 2014 ballot to legalize cannabis in Alaska] to it passing at 52 percent. Every vote counted - and 'fuck it, I quit' was the pivotal moment for all that."
Greene's "fuck it" attitude appears to have worked out: at last count, she'd amassed almost 13,000 Twitter followers, and says she's pursuing "a ton" of other opportunities in the cannabis sphere, including some on TV.
As for other professionals considering going public with their cannabis use, Greene offers this encouragement: "Now is the time: there is no better time to stand up. We need leaders everywhere - and we need you."