Smoking ‘legalized’ pot may still cost you your job - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Smoking ‘legalized’ pot may still cost you your job

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Now that it is legal to sell marijuana in Colorado there's talk of special vacation trips being organized. But before you make a reservation a local attorney issued a warning; your job could go up in smoke when you get back.

Travelers heading home from the holidays typically pack airport terminals this time of year but for some the destination was Colorado and a long line to buy marijuana.

Most out of state visitors, according to a recent Colorado tourism study, come from Texas. While the new law could attract more, those who spoke to FOX 7 Thursday, while in downtown Austin, questioned if legal consequences are being ignored.

"Some of my friends have been interested in it. I've haven't thought about it to be honest," said Amanda Barmmer.

Under the new law, Colorado residents 21 and over can buy up to an ounce of marijuana; non-residents can only purchase up to a quarter-ounce and it must be consumed in that state.

"They don't think past their nose, so they'll go to Colorado and come back and have a drug test, or let they'd let their employer know they just went to Colorado and bring it down upon themselves," Matthew Talbot.

It's not a souvenir to be brought back to Texas. Possession of 2 oz. or less that up to about 120 joints results in a Misdemeanor citation, 180 days jail and a $ 2,000 fine.

"This is not a, what goes on in Denver, what goes on in Colorado stays in Colorado it follows you back with you," said Austin defense attorney Travis Williamson.

Traces of marijuana can stay in you system for weeks, according to Williamson, and in hair for years. So workers who are subject to drug testing could be suspended or fired after a trip to the high country.

"I don't think anyone should be comfortable with, I'd just play stupid, I didn't know that if I partake of the substance in Colorado, its legal, I'll use that as a defense," said Williamson.

It's important to read your employee handbook and understand what's not allowed and when. Flaming up may actually be ok, but you could also get tripped up by social media. Pictures on Twitter and sites like Facebook can be used against you by your boss.

"You're in your ski lodge, you got your feet up with a martini in one hand and pipe full of marijuana in the other, and that gets out in social media, on the internet, somehow brings discredit to your employer, in his or her opinion those are the cases I think are going to be much more likely and there's going to be more issue on them," said Williamson.

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