Colorado town's water tainted with pot chemicals

A water tanker and crates of bottled water were brought into the eastern Plains town of Hugo on Friday, one day after the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said the town's water supply was tainted with THC, a main ingredient in marijuana.

The sheriff's office said officials tested the water after getting complaints.

THC was detected in some tests conducted with field kits, and more definitive laboratory tests are underway, according to sheriff's Capt. Michael Yowell, the Associated Press reported.

Colorado may be home to legalized recreational marijuana, but you won't find any pot shops in the town of Hugo, where such businesses are not permitted.

The field tests weren't capable of showing how much THC was in the water, but only whether the chemical was there, he said.

As for residents? Hugo's former mayor, Patsie Smith, jokingly told the Denver Post that she "might have to go drink some water" after the town's announcement.

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Concerns that the town's water might be contaminated first came after a local company used quick "field tests" to check employees for THC.

The FBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Lincoln County Sherriff's Office are continuing to investigate the matter. Commercial marijuana cultivation, product manufacturing, testing facilities and retail marijuana stores are banned in Hugo, although they are legal elsewhere in the state. It's not clear how any THC might have made its way into the water supply.

"The one thing that bothers me about this story from a scientific perspective is that THC is so insoluble in water".

"I wouldn't be doing my job for the community if we just wrote this off", he said. "Fresh water will be coming into town for the public as soon as possible".

Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies told VICE that the THC found in marijuana buds, if it were in the water, wouldn't actually get anyone high.

It said it was not clear whether the water had been deliberately tainted.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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