Plans to ban the sale of laughing gas announced by Government
MICHAEL Gove said the UK Government plans to ban the sale of laughing gas to stop public areas being turned into drug-taking "arenas".
The Communities Secretary, asked on Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme whether nitrous oxide would be banned, said: "Yes.
"I think any of us who have had the opportunity to walk through our parks in our major cities will have seen these little canisters, these silver canisters which are examples of people not only despoiling public spaces but also people taking a drug which can have a psychological and neurological affect and one that contributes to anti-social behaviour overall."
He said ministers had not yet decided at what drug classification level laughing gas would be set at.
Mr Gove added: "We want to make sure the sale and use can be restricted for its appropriate purpose.
"We can't have a situation, we mustn't have a situation where our parks, our public spaces become drug-taking arenas. And that is why we need to crackdown on new manifestations of drug taking and these laughing gas canisters are an increasing scourge and one that has been reported to me as a constituency MP."
Nitrous Oxide (N2O), which is also known as ‘hippie crack’ and 'nitty', is a gas commonly used in the medical and catering industry.
But it is now the second most-used drug among 16 to 24-year-olds looking to get high in the UK.
The news from Mr Gove is sure to be welcomed in Bradford after key communities figures including councillors have called for nitrous oxide to be banned.
It is also seven days since a mock demonstration was held in Centenary Square as part of a nitrous oxide awareness day. The event featured police, ambulance workers and firefighters.
Prolonged use of nitrous oxide can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia and nerve damage.
In the most serious cases, the use of laughing gas could lead to spinal injuries.
It is a controlled drug under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, making it an offence to supply the drug onto another.