“Fuck It, I Quit” Newscaster, You Did Prove a Point—That You’re a Pothead
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“Fuck It, I Quit” Newscaster, You Did Prove a Point—That You’re a Pothead


By now you’ve probably seen or heard of the “Fuck it, I quit” newscaster. If not, here’s the gist: after a segment about an upcoming ballot to vote on the legalization of marijuana in Alaska, the newscaster reporting the story disclosed the fact that she, in fact, owned the local cannabis club that’d been featured in the piece. To reconcile what she described as a conflict of interest, she then said, “Fuck it, I quit!”

Yes, the legalization of marijuana is—as the “Fuck it, I quit” newscaster also said—“an issue of freedom and fairness.” But “freedom” and “fairness” are not the F words that former news reporter Charlo Greene will forever be known by. Though I’m in complete support of ending the criminalization of marijuana —a criminalization that disproportionately affects communities of color (even though marijuana users are equally or more likely to be white)—my first thought when I saw the tape was, What a total pothead move.

Maybe I’m bothered by Charlo Greene’s Internet fame because it reminds me a little of my own, and how I lost my job as a public school teacher. In 2010, I was charged with Conduct Unbecoming a Professional after it was discovered I was writing and speaking openly about my past as a sex worker. Like Greene, I had a strong opinion on an issue of public importance, and felt it in my right to speak out. To a certain extent, my former employer was correct: though it hadn’t been my intention to draw their name into controversy, this is exactly what happened. A distraction had been created, and so— in the end—for this and other reasons, I resigned.

Losing my job was devastating. My life was totally upset. Worse than that, I feared the purpose of my initial speech would be misconstrued by Internet infamy—which, in large part, it was.

While I was devastated to have lost my job, Charlo Greene’s all like “Fuck it.” In the case of the “Fuck it, I quit” newscaster, her resignation was the distraction—and it was intentional. She had her own agenda, with no regard for her employer’s purpose or reputation in the community. Her conduct was unprofessional—honestly just what some might expect from a pothead.

According to one recent pole, people categorize pot smokers as lazy, unsuccessful, unmotivated and not normal. We think of pot smokers as poor thinkers. Whereas most Americans are in favor of legalization, these stereotypes persist. I know some people thought Greene’s act was brave but, in my view, it was careless and more in service of herself than any cause. Her actions were the opposite of those of any activist working tirelessly to make the issue of decriminalization taken seriously. If her reasoning was to draw attention to the issue of legalization, her effort was counter effective. I know firsthand how it feels to have my words and name turned into a joke. It escapes my understanding why someone would do this on purpose.

But hey, “Fuck it, I quit” newscaster— for which you shall be forever known— at least you got your name in the news.

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About Author

Melissa Petro is a freelance writer and writing instructor living in New York City. She has written for NY Magazine, The Guardian, Salon, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Jezebel, xoJane, The Fix and elsewhere. She is the founder of Becoming Writers, a community organization that provides free and low cost memoir-writing workshops to new writers of all backgrounds and experiences.