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Nitrous Oxide is made illegal

Posted 10th November 2023

A ban on nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’, came into force on Wednesday 8th November 2023 and will assist local authorities, organisations and police in tackling the anti-social behaviour caused through its use.

The law also aims to reduce health risks associated with the misuse of the Class C drug.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst said: “I welcome the change in law to make possessing nitrous oxide illegal. At our public meetings and through our correspondence, I hear over and again concerns about the silver cannisters and balloons littering our parks, playgrounds and public spaces.

“Nitrous oxide also causes harm to the young people who abuse it and it can be a gateway to more harmful drugs.  I hope this legislation will go some way towards helping young people stop substance misuse and give police the tools to deal with the use of nitrous oxide effectively.”

The change in the law states it is illegal to possess nitrous oxide for the purpose of getting high and is now classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

This means that it is now a criminal offence to possess nitrous oxide without a legitimate reason, as opposed to just supply and intent to supply.

Under the legislation, repeat, serious users could face up to two years in prison while those convicted of supplying it could face up to 14 years.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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