Colorado town's water tainted by marijuana chemical, authorities say

Residents of a small Colorado town were told Thursday not to drink, shower in or cook with their water because of evidence of THC, the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana.

The Lincoln County sheriff's office tweeted that bottled water was being brought to the community of Hugo, about 100 miles southeast of Denver. Authorities added that there were no reports of any unusual symptoms.

The sheriff's office added that the contamination was discovered after testing brought about by "complaints", but did not elaborate further.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Emergency Management, Micki Trost, told the Associated Press state investigators are headed to the scene.

She did not know the source or extent of the contamination. The Lincoln County sheriff's office says federal authorities are also involved.

Hugo, a community of about 730 people, prohibits marijuana cultivation, product manufacturing, testing facilities, and Colorado's retail marijuana stores.

It's unlikely that consuming pot-tainted water would cause lasting health effects, said Mark Salley, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health and Environment.

The effects of drinking THC-laced water would depend on the concentration, the amount consumed and how quickly it was consumed, all information officials don't yet know, Salley said.

Drinking water containing THC would be similar to eating marijuana-infused food, meaning the effect would depend entirely on how much was consumed and the strength of the tainted water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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