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Law Enforcement Says the Tiny Town of Hugo, Colorado, Has THC in Its Water

The Lincoln County Sheriff warned residents not to drink, cook, or even bathe, lest the THC could get into their systems.

Image via Wikimedia Commons user Masur

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department tweeted on Thursday that the water supply in Hugo, Colorado, had been tainted with THC. It is unclear how that might have happened. The department went on to warn residents of the town of less than 1,000 that they should refrain from bathing or cooking with the water, surely to the chagrin of Colorado-based Dixie Elixirs, manufacturer of THC-infused bath products.


— Lincoln County S.O. (@LincolnCountySO)July 21, 2016

Later, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department indicated (also via Twitter) that "Health Officials Law Enforcement Officers, and Emergency Managers are all involved in this situation," and added that bottled water would be arriving soon. Testing was ordered, the account said, after residents complained, but added, somewhat puzzlingly that there was "no level of concentration," and "no symptoms to anyone."

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 would have to be decarboxylated first," he said, referring to the necessary process by which THC becomes psychoactive. "Hash oil and concentrates aren't really water soluble," Tree added.

THC, and the other psychoactive compounds in weed can be extracted with water (as they were in this video from our colleagues at Munchies), but it takes further preparation to turn that into something that gets you high.

Neither the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, nor the Hugo Marshal's Office, which also tweeted about the contamination, would immediately return requests for comment, or take any steps toward explaining how the contamination had occurred.

A press conference is scheduled for 7 PM MDT at the Hugo Courthouse.

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