Thinking of leaving your leftover pot in your Colorado hotel room after checkout as a gift to the staff - like the extra beers you didn't drink before your flight? Think again. (Mike Groll, AP)

A cautionary tale: Don’t leave pot in your hotel room after checkout

When Louis checked into the Hyatt Place Denver/Cherry Creek recently, he first went to the modest room’s window, which overlooked Glendale’s crowded stretch of South Colorado Boulevard.

“I wanted to see if I could open the window,” he said, “But no, it was completely sealed.”

Louis, whose Twitter handle is @louididdy and asked that his last name be withheld, wanted to open the window so he could smoke the legal marijuana he had purchased on his snowboarding vacation in Colorado. But since the window wouldn’t open, he decided to ingest his cannabis elsewhere.

Can you get high in Denver hotels? We answer that and more in our Ask the Cannabist columns.

“I smoked it outside of the hotel,” he said. “I didn’t want to chance it.”

When it was time to fly home to Texas the next day, Louis set his leftover marijuana in a sealed container on the hotel room’s desk — and he ditched his bubbler in the bathroom trash. Texas is no Colorado when it comes to pot-friendliness, he said, and he didn’t want to risk breaking the law by flying home with the drugs and pipe.

“I figured I’d leave it behind on the desk in case the maid wanted it — you know, positivity,” he said. “They give you those cylindrical green jars, and I left about a half an eighth and another little bag, maybe a half a gram. It was sealed.”

When Louis checked his bank statement a few days later, he saw an extra $200 charge from the hotel. A quick call back to Denver informed him he was being charged for in-room smoking — something he swears he didn’t do.

“They said it stunk up the room and they couldn’t use it for two days,” he said. “That’s ridiculous. I didn’t even smoke in the room.

“I told them, ‘Hey, let us know (not to leave it behind), and we won’t leave it behind.’ Some of us appreciate what’s happening in Colorado. We’re not going there to break the law or cause any trouble for anybody else. They offered to meet me halfway, and I refused because I didn’t think that was fair. I went to Twitter and got into contact with Hyatt’s concierge account. They got details from me and then made a call to the hotel in Denver and made it good. When I heard that, it calmed me down.”

Is legal pot making for busier-than-ever traffic at Denver’s airport? It’s certainly a contributing factor. See how DIA broke all January records in the first month of 2014, right as legal pot sales began in Colorado.

The full refund quieted Louis’ Twitter tirade. A manager at the Cherry Creek Hyatt told The Cannabist on Wednesday, “The guest has been refunded, and any comments on this type of situation go to Hyatt’s (national) PR.” A call to Hyatt’s national PR on Wednesday went unreturned. But calls to Hyatt’s two downtown Denver hotels showed that the people staying at those hotels are being respectful to their rules and Colorado state laws.

“We’re not seeing a lot of pot,” said Maryann Yuthas, director of public relations for the Grand Hyatt Denver and the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. “Both hotels are non-smoking. To my knowledge, we’ve not had an experience like that one.”

It’s a cautionary tale, one that Louis surely learned.

“I was naïve here not thinking that it might come back and haunt me,” he said. “I figured that somebody would take it, and if they didn’t want it, they’d throw it away.”

That said, he’ll still return to Colorado next time he’s planning a snowboarding trip — picking the Centennial State over its Rocky Mountain neighbors for the one and only reason that pot is legal here.

“(Amendment) 64 definitely adds to the state’s allure,” he said, “so if I can combine (snowboarding and pot) I’m going to Colorado instead of New Mexico or Utah.”

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