Maybe it’s because of those chili cheese fries. Maybe it’s because the fast food chain understands that almost any food is better if you smash Fritos on top of it. Maybe it’s because you don’t have to get out of your car or make real eye contact with anyone while you eat your corn dog and Ched ‘R’ Peppers. Whatever the reason, it seems like Sonic Drive-Thru was more or less designed for weed smokers—and that’s becoming a problem for one location in the American South.
A Sonic in Gulfport, Mississippi has posted a professionally laminated sign in its window, reminding customers that if their cars smell strongly of that sticky-icky, they’ll have to go elsewhere for their Cinnabon Cinnasnacks. "ATTENTION," the sign reads in unavoidable all-caps. "If you are smoking weed in the drive thru you will not be served! Please show some common courtesy and smoke and air out before pulling up to order."
The manager of that 17th Street location, Yasman Freeman, told the Sun Herald that the sign was taped to the window out of necessity, after a customer allegedly blew smoke in the face of an underage Sonic employee. She said that her staff was also getting tired of smelling weed while they placed orders, although inhaling secondhand herb seems pretty inevitable if you’re working at Sonic. Freeman said that, in the two weeks since she posted the sign, fewer drivers had accidentally hotboxed her employees.
On the pro-weed Subreddit r/trees, one recent user gave a shout-out to the Sonic workers at a location in Austin, Texas, for being “chill about it” when he and his friends rolled up stoned AF. “Needless to say, they gave us all some Buy One Get One free coupons and had their laughs about us being high,” the Redditor wrote. “But shout to the people who don’t call the police on us stoners and are just chill people in general.” A trio of responses thanked their own Sonic workers for being stoner-friendly, so THANKS FOR NOTHING, GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI.
Last month, IHOP was forced to clarify that no, its restaurants would not refuse to serve customers who had a “strong marijuana odor” after a photo of a sign in one of its restaurants made its way around the internet. “Someone at the restaurant must have been pancaking that day when they posted it because the brand and our franchisees are all about welcoming guests in without judgement,” an IHOP spokesperson told MUNCHIES at the time.
UPDATE 4/4/2018: Reached for comment, Kristin Davis, a Sonic spokesperson, told MUNCHIES: "Recently the drive-in’s management posted a sign at the drive-thru that banned marijuana smoking by Sonic customers who use the drive-thru. This is not an official Sonic policy, and the sign was removed on March 30. The drive-in’s franchisee and management are committed to being good community partners and they appreciate the trust and confidence their guests place in Sonic every day to serve them delicious and safe food."