The British Conservative government announced on Sunday March 26 that nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”, a substance with growing popularity, will soon be banned. A decision formalized by the Minister for Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, on Sky News.
“Anyone who has had the opportunity to walk in the parks of our big cities has seen these little silver canisters”, lamented Mr. Gove. Consumers “not only ransack public spaces, but also take a drug that can have a psychological and neurological effect and contributes to antisocial behavior”added the minister.
“That’s why we need to suppress new manifestations of drug use and these laughing gas canisters are a growing scourge”, continued Michael Gove. The government wants sales of these canisters to be “restricted for proper purposes”. Nitrous oxide is indeed used in the medical community as an anesthetic as well as in kitchen siphons.
“Worrying” increase in recreational use in Europe
The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction was alarmed in November by an increase “concerning” recreational use of nitrous oxide in parts of Europe. This growing popularity, especially among young people, is due to its availability and low price. This gas is prized for its short psychoactive effects – on the order of three to four minutes – when inhaled. In the Netherlands, the possession and sale of nitrous oxide has been prohibited since 1er January.
The British Prime Minister, the conservative Rishi Sunak, will also announce Monday measures to fight against petty crime. Offenders sentenced to community sentences are expected to clean up their graffiti themselves within forty-eight hours. Offenders will, according to the draft, wear highly visible coveralls or jackets while carrying out their punishments, which could include washing police cars.
The Conservative government, at its lowest in the polls against Labour, is increasing its statements on security and immigration, when local elections will be held in May.