A Colorado town has been warned to stop drinking its marijuana-laced water supply

Sparkling or still?
Sparkling or still?
Image: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi
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The residents of a tiny town in eastern Colorado have been asked to stop drinking and cooking with its public water because it contains THC—the mind-altering chemical found in marijuana.

For the nearly 700 people living in Hugo, Colorado that means turning to bottled water until public health officials can figure out just how their water became contaminated.

“While we do not currently have reliable information on the amount of THC in the water, worst-case possible effects from short-term ingestion may include… psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, or delusional beliefs,” according to a statement released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Issues with Hugo’s water were first brought to the public’s attention by a company that uses tests to check employees for THC, according to a report by The Denver Post. When authorities began investigating, they noticed at least one of the town’s public water wells had been tampered with. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2012, cannabis has become one of the state’s biggest cash crops, generating more than $135 million in taxes on $1 billion in sales last year.