Anyone with eyes or ears knows about the horror that has been inflicted on the people of Flint, Michigan by negligent, possibly criminal, city and state governments. According to the city, all Flint children should consider themselves exposed to lead poisoning. After the revelation that the city had been lying about the dangerous toxins in the tap water, most citizens are drinking only bottled water, but many still forced to use the tainted water for bathing, according to The Guardian.

There are much bigger problems facing the population than the status of the medical marijuana business. But for patients who rely on cannabis for their medical treatment and caregivers who rely on MMJ donations to pay their bills, it’s not small potatoes either.

Lead in the Weed?

If growers in Flint have been using the city’s tap water, then it’s highly likely those plants are contaminated with lead. “If the lead is soluble, it is getting in the plants,” Michigan State plant biology Professor Frank Telewski told High Times.  “Lead is absorbed in living tissues and it does not biodegrade.”

Fortunately for Flint smokers, much of the city’s cannabis comes from outside the zone hooked up to poisonous water pipes. Growers with the resources for sophisticated grow operations often reside in the suburbs, according to High Times. But those plants that have been growing on Flint water should be avoided just like the water itself.

How Growers are Dealing with the Crisis

Of course a whole lot of growers are going to be using treated water for their plants. The Reverse Osmosis treatment process eliminates lead and other chemicals from water. “Most gardeners with experience are using R.O. water in their gardens,” says Steve Greene, a grower and host of The Full Melt radio show, “so their plants are not exposed to any toxins.”

Cultivators can also get free R.O. water from area gardening and hydroponic stores. Buddy Dalton of Clio Cultivation tells HT that his store has seen a serious uptick recently in the demand for treated water. “We are giving away 50 to 150 gallons of R.O. water a day,” he says. “Our system runs constantly, and we’re pushing the limits of the machine.”

Assisting the Community

The term “caregiver” isn’t just a euphemism for “legal weed dealer.” There are a whole lot of medical marijuana providers who got into the game to help people. So, it’s no big surprise that many of them in Michigan are doing what they can to alleviate the water crisis. Buddy Dalton of Clio Caregivers is giving free purified drinking water in addition to his R.O. gardening water.

MI Legalize, an organization that works to legalize cannabis in Michigan, is co-sponsoring a fundraiser, water drive, and spaghetti dinner (with a signature drive to end cannabis prohibition thrown in).

“What we’ve seen in Flint is symptomatic of the state government’s past behavior,” Jamie Lowell, an MI Legalize board member, told HT. “It’s why we have to change the system in this state. If Governor Snyder wants to run the state like a corporation, he should do what CEOs do when they make huge mistakes – resign.”