The crew behind Garden Valley, California-based burger spot, Red Rooster Burgers & Brew, had enough with teens smoking pot in the bathroom, among other things, leading to a ban of all unsupervised customers under the age of 18.
“It is with GREAT sadness that we have made the decision to not permit underage kiddos in the restaurant without a parent or legal guardian for the following reasons…” Red Rooster Burgers & Brew posted on September 24. Red Rooster Burgers & Brew sells burgers, fries, shakes and ice cream sundaes, as well as alcoholic drinks such as beer or wine.
The post continued, adding a list of dozens of complaints—the first one on the list being “marijuana being smoked in the bathroom.” The list included littered condoms, skateboarding, the use and sale of e-cigarettes, as well as coins, fries and candy being thrown at employees.
With a brief review of California law, there is no possible way for people under the age of 18 to legally consume cannabis, unless it is for medical use and approved by a physician, under the supervision of a legal guardian.
“For the last two years we have spoken to kiddos and voiced our concerns numerous times!” the post continued. “Then, we implemented rules so they could still feel like they had a place to go, feel safe, and hang with their friends. It’s very clear to us that the bad behavior is not going to end. If you have a kiddo that needs a safe place to be after school please reach out to us. It is not our intent to exile the youth in our community but to protect our property. Some of their actions are unlawful and we won’t allow it.”
In California, only adults ages 21 and older can legally purchase pot for recreational purposes. There is no age limit on medical cannabis use, however minors under age 18 need permission from their legal guardians to use medical cannabis. So that means that young adults ages 18-20 are allowed to visit state-licensed medical dispensaries, but not adult-use dispensaries.
Unfortunately, pot smoking wasn’t the only problem at the burger restaurant, Red Rooster Burgers & Brew. “We also have issues with youth roaming the streets at night vandalizing the neighborhood,” the post continues. “Recently a neighbor’s Kalloween display was vandalized. We found pieces of it in our parking lot. It’s unfortunate but we will have to install security cameras to catch these vandals. We live in such a quaint beautiful town. I wish it didn’t have to be this way.”
Beyond the Burger: Teens and Pot
Sandwich chain Cheba Hut, makers of “Toasted” subs, took the exact opposite approach, marketing to young adults through sandwiches like “Thai Sticks” or “Kali Mist.”
But most business owners don’t want a mess to clean up when teens take over. In August, Oregon-based Burgerville took an even more extreme measure and closed a franchise in Portland permanently, due to underage criminal activity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends against allowing teens to smoke pot, given the developmental changes in the brain. “Unlike adults, the teen brain is actively developing and often will not be fully developed until the mid 20s,” the CDC warns. “Marijuana use during this period may harm the developing teen brain.”
Those considerations from the CDC are apparently falling on deaf ears, however. A comprehensive study published two years ago in the American Journal of Public Health. looked at 1991-2017 American federal health data on more than 200,000 high school students, and found that the number of students who said they’d smoked pot at least once over the past month rose 10-fold, rising from 0.6 percent in 1991 to 6.3 percent by 2017.