Reporter Charlo Greene quit on-air during KTVA-TV's 10 p.m. newscast Sunday, revealing herself as the owner of the medical marijuana business Alaska Cannabis Club and telling viewers that she would be using all of her energy to fight for legalizing marijuana in Alaska.
Greene had reported on the Alaska Cannabis Club during Sunday night's broadcast, without revealing her connection to it. At the end of the report, during a live shot, she announced that she was the club's owner and would be quitting.
"Now everything you've 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," she said. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit."
And with that, she walked off camera.
Alaska Cannabis Club had urged its Facebook followers to tune in to the broadcast Sunday evening.
Reached later, Greene said KTVA had no idea she was going to quit, or that she was connected to the Alaska Cannabis Club.
Asked why she quit in such a dramatic way, she said, "Because I wanted to draw attention to this issue. And the issue is medical marijuana. Ballot Measure 2 is a way to make medical marijuana real ... most patients didn't know the state didn't set up the framework to get patients their medicine."
"If I offended anyone, I apologize, but I'm not sorry for the choice that I made," she said.
In a statement posted on KTVA's Facebook page Sunday night, news director Bert Rudman said, "We sincerely apologize for the inappropriate language used by a KTVA reporter during her live presentation on the air tonight. The employee has been terminated."
Started in April, the Alaska Cannabis Club connects medical marijuana cardholders with other cardholders who are growing cannabis. Growers are offered "donations" as reimbursement for the costs of growing marijuana, the club said in an interview with Alaska Dispatch News in August. The club said it hopes to increase access to medical marijuana patients, despite operating in a legal gray area within Alaska's murky medical marijuana laws.
Video clips of the broadcast were quickly uploaded to YouTube and shared on Reddit Sunday night.
Marijuana legalization opposition group "Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2" posted on its Twitter page "#KTVA reporter covering ballot measure 2 loses her mind, confesses to being an owner of the cannabis club and quits while on the air."
Alaska voters will decide on Nov. 4 whether to legalize recreational use of pot in the state, as Colorado and Washington have.