When a Washington marijuana advocate pulled up to the drive-thru with a camera and an oil rig in May, he thought he was making a statement. Instead, the stunt ended with two restaurant workers unemployed.
Jonah Tacoma, a pot proponent who works out of Tacoma, Wash., stopped at the drive-thru while making a video for YouTube. When asked for his order, he offered to pay in hash oil dabs instead of cash. He had brought his rig, and the oil, with him.
Surprisingly – or maybe not so surprisingly – the two young employees working the drive-thru accepted. He drove to the window and handed them his pipe. He filmed each of them as they took a hit of hash oil.
For the uninitiated, hash oil is a concentrated form of marijuana made by stripping THC resin off the plant. Where regular bud contains no more than 30 percent THC, hash oil (also known as honey oil, wax, and shatter) can contain more than 80 percent. The high is intense and long-lasting, lingering for up to a day in some users.
The plan backfired…
Tacoma said he made the video for YouTube so he could show how safe and commonplace the drug really is. Unfortunately for the workers, the plan backfired.
“We were going through the drive-through and when we were done ordering, I offered to pay with a dab instead of cash,” he said. “She said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ We started filming when we pulled up.”
The two employees asked Tacoma, who runs a dabbing-related website, to hold off on posting the video for at least a week. Shortly after he put it up May 11, a local customer viewed it and called the fast-food chain, Frugals. The workers were promptly fired.
Frugals management issued a statement that blamed the media for focusing on the video and insisting its employees don’t use drugs at work – though clearly they do.
“Frugals has a zero tolerance drug policy in the workplace, and we in no way condone the type of conduct captured,” said Laurie Macarty, financial manager for the company. “How very unfortunate that the media has chosen to spotlight and sensationalize this incident, which may only serve to encourage this type of behavior in publicity-seeking individuals. The isolated actions of the two terminated employees do not in any way reflect the Frugals crew as a whole.”
The workers had been with the company for about two and a half years, Macarty said.
Drug use prohibited at work
Marijuana is legal in Washington State for any use, including dabs. But most businesses still prohibit any kind of drug use at work, including legal pot. It’s unclear whether toking on the job is automatic grounds for firing at Frugals or whether the company took such drastic action out of public embarrassment.
For his part, Tacoma refused to apologize for the trouble he caused the employees.
“It was kind of just a funny thing that happened,” he said. “I don’t think we put them in jeopardy. I think they chose to participate. The reality is we are making a statement.”