Netherlands to ban laughing gas from January


The Dutch government is banning the use of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, amid concerns over the health risks for the growing number of young people using it. The ban, which starts in January, makes it illegal to buy, sell or own the gas. However, the authorities say it can still be used for medicinal purposes and in the food industry. The government also hopes the ban will reduce the number of road traffic accidents involving the drug. According to road safety monitor TeamAlert, laughing gas has played a role in 1,800 accidents across the Netherlands over the past three years. Almost two a day, figures that really shocked us,” Maartje Oosterink of TeamAlert told AD newspaper earlier this month. The popular legal high has grown in popularity amongst clubbers and festival-goers in recent years, and is often used in combination with other drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) or ketamine. The gas is mostly sold in small metal canisters, which are emptied into balloons before it is inhaled.(BBC)…[+]