Alaska pot backer ordered to comply with subpoena

AP News
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Posted: Nov 27, 2014 7:01 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A campaign-finance investigation is moving forward against an Alaska television reporter who quit her job on-air and vowed to work toward legalizing marijuana.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission wants to know whether Charlo Greene used crowdsourcing funds to advocate for a ballot initiative to legalize recreational pot use. Greene challenged the commission's request for documents.

The commission on Wednesday rejected her objection to a subpoena, the Alaska Dispatch News (http://ow.ly/EZQhr) reported. That gives the agency the authority to continue the investigation to determine whether money that was spent would trigger reporting requirements.

Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, said the order should be worrisome to those who take a stand on any issue. "If you publish your personal stance on any issue, then this government agency believes they have the authority to ask for emails, bank-account information, all of your records," she said. "That's scary."

The commission is unfairly targeting her, she added.

During a live newscast in September, she revealed herself to be the owner of a medical marijuana business and quit her job with a four-letter tirade. Soon after quitting, she launched an IndieGoGo online fundraising campaign to continue her fight for marijuana legalization. The effort raised more than $8,400.

The commission notes that she hasn't been found in violation of the law. "But without a reasonable investigation, no determination can be reached," the commission wrote in a three-page order.

Greene said the campaign should not be subject to reporting requirements because it was fundraising for her organization, the Alaska Cannabis Club, not for passing Ballot Measure 2. The agency cited examples where they believed her campaign was advocating for the initiative.

Alaska and Oregon this month joined Washington and Colorado as states approving legal pot.

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, http://www.adn.com