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Weatherman Clears Up Marijuana Mistake After Wind-Blown Windbreaker Found

February 18, 1988

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) _ A television weatherman had some explaining to do after a windbreaker with a container of marijuana in its pocket blew out of his helicopter and was recovered by some junior high school students.

Jerry Foster of NBC affiliate KPNX in Phoenix said he found a canister of the drug Tuesday while filming near the Salt River earlier in the day.

He said he made arrangements to turn the marijuana over to Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies, but first he had to stop by the school to film preparations for a flag-raising ceremony, so he stuck in it in his jacket.

Foster, an honorary deputy, said he didn’t notice the black nylon windbreaker missing until he was already at the sheriff’s office.

″Apparently the jacket just blew out (of the helicopter). I never did see it go,″ he said.

Ironically, the jacket was found by two students from nearby Mesquite Jr. High, which is sponsoring a ″Just Say No″ to drugs program this week. They turned it over to Gilbert police.

″The Gilbert police officer wanted me to explain and I did,″ Foster said. ″He called the sheriff’s department and they backed me up.″

Sgt. Jay Ellison said Foster reported finding a small canister of marijuana, a .32-caliber pistol and some other items when he landed to change film near the river.

Foster said he placed the canister in the jacket so it wouldn’t spill.

Gilbert Police Sgt. Steven Olsen said the marijuana would be turned over to the county.

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