Beachgoers examine a bundle of marijuana that washed up at Jungle Hut Park in Flagler County, Fla., last week. (Flagler County Sheriff’s Office)

It sounds like the opening for another stoner movie, maybe “Harold and Kumar Go to Heaven.” Giant bundles of marijuana, apparently containing individually wrapped five-kilo bricks, have been washing up on the shores of Florida since the approach of Hurricane Florence last week, possibly from a boat that was either capsized by the storm or an airplane drop that went awry.

This set off a minor ethical dilemma among the beachgoers of Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia counties in the Daytona Beach area: Does one grab the weed and run, or call the cops?

This moral quandary was best demonstrated in a 911 call to the Volusia County sheriff last Thursday morning, when a woman reported, “We’re at Jungle Hut (Park) and a huge bundle of drugs or something just washed up on the beach and there are people like fighting over it.” How many people? the call-taker inquired, according to a recording of the exchange. “There’s like seven or eight people out here,” the caller replied, “and they’re all like huddling up against it, and my dad’s trying to take it so that you guys can have it all.”

Robert Kelley, 61, was arrested after allegedly trying to take a brick of marijuana from the Jungle Hut Park beach in Flagler County, Fla.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and the caller noted that one fellow had removed a brick of suspected cannabis from the bundle and was still there. The deputies asked the man about this, according to their report, and he “pointed at his vehicle and stated that he was holding it for law enforcement’s arrival.”

The brick weighed about 11 pounds, wet. The man, Robert Kelley, 61, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana over 20 grams. Medical marijuana is legal in the Sunshine State, but “it’s illegal” for recreational use, sheriff’s spokeswoman Anna Hackett observed. Kelley was jailed and it was not clear whether he has retained a lawyer.

But the bundle was just one of many that came ashore on eastern Florida’s central coast, and Flagler officials said they recovered about 100 pounds over two days. That doesn’t include the packages that were removed from the bundles by beachgoers who then fled, to include a woman in a yellow bikini who was photographed snagging at least one package from the Jungle Hut bundle, and did not stick around for law enforcement’s arrival. The Flagler sheriff distributed a photo of her in the apparent act of pot theft, but she remains at large, Hackett said.

In St. Johns County, Fla., north of Flagler, the weed packages started floating to the surface the prior weekend, when an off-duty sheriff’s deputy fished…READ MORE HERE


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