South Carolina

Hilton Head McDonald’s served man sweet tea with a side of weed, report says. ‘It gets worse’

Parrish Brown thought it was strange when the Hilton Head Island McDonald’s worker paused as he ordered a sweet tea with light ice and extra lemon.

“Extra lemon?” the drive-thru worker asked in an odd voice.

Brown later figured out what the “extra lemon” was about when he discovered quite a bit of weed inside his sweet tea — after he drank it, at work.

The 24-year-old Charleston man called the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office around 11:30 p.m. Oct. 27 to report the incident.

“I have never had weed a day in my life, so immediately after I started drinking it, I started to feel weird and it didn’t taste like something I recognized,” Brown said.

But he was thirsty, and needed a late night pick-me-up as he worked his second job on Hilton Head — except not that kind of pick-me-up.

He had hope for the sweet tea and kept thinking “maybe this will get better, maybe it’s just me,” as he fidgeted with his straw and poked around the inside of his cup.

Finally, when Brown realized he was “high as a kite,” he opened up the lid only to find something he wasn’t expecting: three bags of marijuana.

Turns out, as he was poking around his cup with the straw, the bags became punctured, releasing the leaves into his tea, according to him.

“Well, I was high and panicking and at work, so I called my dad,” Brown said. “I didn’t want to get in trouble for this.”

Brown said it was “a whole ordeal.”

His father told him to tell his manager what happened and call the police.

“And then, it gets worse,” Brown said. “I called dispatch and the woman yelled like ‘WHAT!? Call 911!’ And I was like, ma’am, you are 911.’ She couldn’t believe it.”

Brown said he had a tough time convincing his management and authorities what happened.

“I kept being like ‘I swear, there is weed in my sweet tea!’” he said. “The officer asked me why I drank it and I was like, ‘Well, I was thirsty!’”

He said the officer who responded took one glance at him and one sniff of the substance inside his drink.

“And they were like ‘Oh yes, that’s marijuana,’” Brown said, commenting that he wasn’t entirely sure if it was just marijuana in his drink because the effects he was experienced seemed to be different from what he understood.

Brown said the rest of his meal, which included a 10-piece chicken McNugget and a double cheeseburger, was completely normal. He checked his receipt and saw that he had paid the regular menu price for the items.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident, according to spokesperson Maj. Bob Bromage. The marijuana was submitted into evidence, according to the police report.

Bromage said he could not comment further on the case or give details, including the specific business location, as the investigation is pending. There are two McDonald’s locations on Hilton Head on the north and south ends of the island.

Other fast food ‘joint’ incidents

This is not the first time a fast-food restaurant has been accused of serving or selling marijuana to customers.

In June, a North Carolina man was arrested on charges of selling marijuana from a Taco Bell where he worked, WTVD news station reported.

In 2017, two workers at a New Hampshire Burger King were charged with selling weed to customers who ordered “fries extra crispy” at the drive-thru window after asking for “Nasty Boy,” Tribune Media Wire reported.

In 2015, nine McDonald’s employees were fired in France after allegations surfaced about workers “cutting up the weed, weighing it, and bagging it at the salad bar,” the Inquisitr reported.

In a reverse situation in Florida last year, a man actually tried to pay for his McDonald’s order with a bag of weed, according to the Port St. Lucie Police Department. That didn’t work, and the employee called the police.

The recent incident might not be too out of character, considering McDonald’s is a popular “joint” among pot smokers.

According to a 2017 survey, McDonalds is the No. 1 favorite fast food joint among cannabis users in legalized states, Forbes reported.

Mandy Matney is an award-winning journalist and self-proclaimed shark enthusiast from Kansas. She worked for newspapers in Missouri and Illinois before she realized Midwestern winters are horrible, then moved to Hilton Head in 2016. She is the breaking news editor at the Island Packet.