Not a Laughing Matter!

New laws that will see users and suppliers of ‘laughing gas’ fined or potentially imprisoned for up to 14 years officially came into effect today. 

The new legislation that brands the substance a Class C drug enforces an ‘unlimited fine’ on those who are found in possession of nitrous oxide if they intend to use it recreationally. As well as a hefty prison sentence of up to 14 years if they are found with intent to supply. 

The infamous silver cannisters are originally intended to prolong the shelf life of products such as whipped cream but have been sold over the counter in a process that requires a singular phone call before collection. In fact, reporters found that they were not questioned in any way about the intended use of the cream chargers that they purchased in multiple Plymouth shops. 

The popular drug amongst young adults and even teenagers was banned after the impacts and effects of its misuse were researched. Studies show that heavy use of the party drug can result in neurological damage and there have even been deaths reported after recreational users fell unconscious and suffocated due to a lack of oxygen. 

However, the enforcement of this new law is under question as details of two governemnt-led reviews that determined nitrous oxide wasn’t ‘dangerous enough’ to be banned have captured the attention of the public. 

It was the Netherlands who are said to have inspired the change as they became the first country to ban the personal use of laughing gas in January after they found it responsible for over 1800 car accidents, resulting in 63 deaths, over the last three years. 

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