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Small Colorado Town Thought They Found THC in their Tap Water


Small towns are usually the last place you expect to find big news – but Colorado’s town of Hugo sure got a lot of attention over the past week when they thought someone had tampered with their local water supply. The whole thing started with a company doing drug screenings on their employees. When they were using tap water as a sort of control to ensure the tests were accurate, they were surprised when the drug test for the tap water turned up positive for THC.

It wasn’t long before officials started using field testing kits to test the town’s water supply – out of 10 samples, six turned up positive for THC. This prompted a notice to the entire town not to drink or cook with the water – and even more extreme, they were told they shouldn’t even bathe with the water until further testing was done; they even shut down the community pool for a short period of time.

When the investigation first began, it appeared that someone may have purposefully contaminated the town’s water with THC as there were “signs of forced entry” on one of the wells that supplies drinking water to the town. Since they had deemed the water undrinkable, the town of 800 were given at least 2,500 water bottles during the timeframe of just more than a full day. At this point, samples were being sent away to be tested again – this time, in a lab for more accuracy.

“It’s pretty much a running joke,” she said (Ms. Smith). “I’m personally afraid it’s an overreaction, but better safe than sorry.”

In the end, even though multiple samples had come back with a positive screen for THC, it turned out that it was nothing more than a bunch of false positive tests. This was speculated about in an article by the Washington Post, where researchers explained that it would take far too much THC to make that worth doing, even as some sort of elaborate joke – and that it was unlikely that the water supply was actually dosed with the active ingredient in cannabis.

After the labs gave them to answer they were hoping for, the water ban was lifted and residents were once again able to trust their tap water for drinking, cooking and showering. While it turned out to be a lot of hoopla over nothing, the idea that someone had broken into this small town’s water supply is crazy. This is a town so small that they don’t even have cultivation facilities or dispensaries within city limits – they were probably the last residents who ever expected to fear getting high off their tap water (no matter how unlikely it would have been).