Fifteen pounds of marijuana were found in plastic bags on the side of a freeway in La Crescenta during a litter cleanup this weekend, authorities said.
Two organizations were doing their monthly sweep along the 210 Freeway at La Crescenta Avenue on Saturday when Crescenta Valley Town Council member Mike Classens came across one bag.
"I could tell immediately it was full of marijuana. It emitted a really strong odor, no question about it," Classens said.
He said it's typical to see discarded bottles used for medical marijuana during a cleanup, but not the actual herb itself.
Classens took the bag over to another part of the cleanup area to show a friend when he noticed a second large bag about 20 feet away. It was also filled with marijuana.
"It was quite a lot of marijuana. I've never seen so much," he said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were eventually called in and took custody of the bags. Lt. Mark Slater, with the Crescenta Valley station, said it is unknown who left the marijuana behind.
"We'll make an attempt at trying to find out who the owner is, but the likelihood of that happening is very slim," he said.
Slater said the bags contained marijuana trimmings — the discarded leaves and stems left behind when the plant is harvested and manicured for sale — not the bud of the plant, which is favored by users.
It's unknown what will happen if the owner of the trimmings is found.
At the least, Slater said, the owner would be charged with illegal dumping.
If no one claims the marijuana, all 15 pounds will eventually go up in smoke and be destroyed.