White Woman Threatened To Call 9-11 On Girl Selling Water, Ended Up Hurting Her Own Marijuana Business

White Woman Threatened To Call 9-11 On Girl Selling Water, Ended Up Hurting Her Own Marijuana Business

A video posted to Instagram on Saturday went viral after a white woman in San Francisco apparently called the police on an 8-year-old African American girl selling cold water near AT&T Park.

The child’s supposed crime? She was selling water without a permit.

The woman, Alison Ettel, later insisted to HuffPost that there was “no racial component to it” and she only “pretended” to call the police. The child’s mother shot the video, and a voice is heard saying “This woman don’t want a little girl to sell some water, she’s calling the police on an 8-year-old girl.”

Ettel can be seen talking on the phone, then ducking out of sight when she realizes she is being recorded. Ettel later told HuffPost she ducked to “find a quiet place where I could hear” the building security guard she said she was speaking to.

Ettel is the CEO of a marijuana business, and recently held an event on “calming anxiety and stress with cannabis.” Her company, Treat Well, deals in edible options for people and pets.

Ettel said she had her office windows open on Saturday because it was hot. The water sellers “were screaming about what they were selling,” she said. “It was literally nonstop. It was every two seconds, ‘Come and buy my water.’ It was continuous and it wasn’t a soft voice, it was screaming.”

The video got more than 1 million views after it was posted, NBC reported. Ettel said she has received hate mail and death threats, “all for something that was an escalated miscommunication between two neighbors,” she told NBC.

Erin Austin, the mother of the 8-year-old girl, said her daughter was selling bottles of water in front of their home to raise money. Austin recently lost her job and her daughter wants to go to Disneyland.

“You can hide all you want — the whole world is going to see you boo,” Austin said to Ettel on the video.

On a Today Show TV interview, Ettel said asked the mother and daughter to stop screaming.

“I tried to be polite but I was stern,” Ettel told Today. “And I said, ‘Please, I’m trying to work. You’re screaming. You’re yelling, and people have open windows. It’s a hot day. Can you please keep it down?'”

Austin said Ettel was not diplomatic in her approach. “She never asked us to be quiet. She came out and directly demanded to see a permit to sell water from an 8-year-old,” Austin said.

Ettel, now known virally as “Permit patty,” is following in the footsteps of “BBQ Becky,” Diversity Inc reported. An Oakland, Calif. woman, “BBQ Becky” was held for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation after she called police to report a group of Black men having a barbecue in a public park.

A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department told NBC News that no complaint was made regarding the incident.

Meanwhile, a Twitter user bought four Disneyland tickets for the girl, her family said.

Ettel told “Today” that she’s not proud of her behavior, and wants to apologize to the mother and daughter.

Austin and her daughter said they would not accept Ettel’s apology.


Ettel’s business partner, Magnolia Wellness dispensary in Oakland, Calif., has cut ties with her, Diversity Inc. reported:

“As of today, Magnolia will no longer be carrying Treatwell Tinctures,” states an Instagram post from Magnolia Wellness. “After seeing this video of their CEO calling the police on an 8-year-old entrepreneur selling water on a hot day…we could no longer patronize her company.”

She was also set to be featured in a 2019 documentary on women in the cannabis industry, but Lady Buds director put the kibosh on that in an Instagram post, calling her actions “racist and divisive.” Ettel is being edited out of the film.

Ettel’s values being questionable isn’t new. Back in 2015, when interviewed by SFGate about the controversial practice of giving pets doses of cannabis, she responded: “It’s don’t ask, don’t tell. We haven’t gotten any pushback yet.”

A child selling water is the equivalent of selling lemonade at a lemonade stand, Twitter users said.






Ettel said what she did “was stupid. I completely regret that I handled that so poorly. It was completely stress-related, and I should have never confronted her. That was a mistake, a complete mistake. Please don’t make me sound horrible.”