Thrift Store Workers Uncover Massive Pot "Donation"

By Kelly Burch 09/05/18
The unusual donation was worth a few thousand dollars, according to police.
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Employees at a Florida thrift store found much more than the usual faded blouses and old shoes when they were sorting through donations this week and found five pounds of marijuana outside the store’s donation box. 

According to Fox 13, employees at Pines Thrift Store in Sarasota found a large tote outside the donation box, where items for the store can be left after hours.

Initially, employees ignored the tote, but when they opened it on Thursday they found a taped paper bag containing four plastic bags.

When they cut into a bag it became clear what was inside: 2,100 grams of vacuum-sealed marijuana, according to 7 News Miami. That’s when they decided to call the police. 

The unusual donation left area residents and store employees wondering about the motives of whoever left the cannabis behind. 

“Somebody probably had a change of heart or something and wanted to turn it in, but didn't want to get themselves in trouble," said Bles Mclean, who was interviewed about the find. "So they just probably thought they were doing a good deed in donating it. I guess. I don't know.”

Mclean speculated that it could have been a joke gone wrong.

"Maybe someone is being vindictive,” she said. “It doesn't sound like a prank. I wouldn't know, but it's very shocking.”

If it were a prank, it would be an expensive one. The drugs have a street value of a few thousand dollars. No arrests have been made, and no one knows where the drugs might have come from or how they came to be in the donation box. 

"Either someone lost track of a really big package or someone didn't calculate the numbers right or something," Mclean said. "How it got in the donation box is definitely baffling.”

Finding the drugs at the thrift store, which is part of The Pine Retirement Community, was jarring for some residents. 

"That's pretty shocking to hear about, to know it was in the donation box," Jacueline Aguilera said. 

Police have requested surveillance video from the store and from neighboring businesses, hoping that that might help them identify the person who left the tote outside the donation box.  

Police are also doing testing on the drugs to try to identify where they may have come from, according to ABC News

Although Florida does have a medical marijuana program, recreational use of cannabis is illegal under state law. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.