Tex-Mex restaurant E-Bar has been the talk of the town for its anti-stoner policy that is spelled out in a sign posted on its window: “If You Have The Smell Of Marijuana On You We Will Not Serve You.” (“Marijuana” is underlined for good measure.)
The signage has drawn recent attention, including in a story published Wednesday by The Dallas Observer.
But the owner of the restaurant, Ernie Quinlantan, told the publication that the policy has actually been enforced for five years. The Observer noted that sometimes “when the windows are cleaned, the sign gets taken down, then is put back up in a place that is not quite so obvious.”
“People reeking of marijuana, it just ruins everybody’s experience around them, you can’t possibly have a great meal with someone who has that much odor,” Quinlantan told the Observer.
Quinlantan also downplayed the significance of the rule, saying that most customers are unbothered.
“Some people have something to say, it depends on the person, but most of the time it’s not an issue,” Quinlantan said.
The rule has not gone over well on social media, however. E-Bar’s Instagram account is filled with announcements, including multiple posts reminding customers to wear a mask at the restaurant. Another proudly displays an award naming E-Bar the best Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas three years ago.
But the comment sections of many of the account’s posts have been littered with sarcastic remarks and outright anger directed at the rule.
“Congrats on being the only [Tex Mex] restaurant to monetize the Latino culture while also diminishing it by supporting stigmas rooted in associating cannabis with the Latino community by calling it marijuana,” wrote one Instagram user. “Do you think none of your staff or family consume cannabis?”
“Do you have a list of smell restrictions?” snarked another commenter “Also, is the person smelling customers certified by the SCA (Sniffers Commission of America)?”
Recreational cannabis is illegal in the Lone Star State, of course, but change could be afoot.
Last November, voters in five Texas cities approved ballot measures to decriminalize pot. In one of those cities, Denton, officials ignored the will of the electorate and voted in June “against adopting the ordinance that would have decriminalized marijuana.”
Polls show that a majority of Texans are in favor of lifting the prohibition on marijuana use.
A Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler Poll last August found that 55% of registered voters in Texas support the legalization of adult-use cannabis.
Thirty-four percent said they “strongly” support the legalization of recreational cannabis for adults, and 21% said simply that they support the change, according to the poll.
Fourteen percent said they were simply opposed, with 21% saying they were “strongly” opposed. Another 9% said they neither supported nor opposed the idea.
So far, the legalization effort has not gained much traction among Texas lawmakers in Austin. But the legislature has taken steps to broaden the state’s medical cannabis program.
In April, members of the state House of Representatives signed off on a bill that would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis as an option for chronic pain treatment rather than opioids.
“Passage of this legislation will provide qualified patients with a state-sanctioned option to access a therapy that has proven to offer significant benefits,” the NORML chapter of Texas said at the time. “Medical cannabis is an objectively safer alternative to the array of pharmaceutical drugs that it could potentially replace. I urge my fellow Texans to voice their support for this important legislation and to reach out to their Senators to encourage their backing as it moves through the legislative process.”