A policy being pushed in the UK would have those in possession of recreational NOS, also known as nitrous oxide, persecuted at the same level as the possession of cannabis.
NOS, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” is used in the UK as a recreational drug, often inhaled through balloons to lead to a short high. But under this new legislation, those caught with it would face consequences similar to the possession of cannabis- which is not decriminalized or legal in the UK.
While supplying or using nitrous oxide for recreational purposes is already illegal under the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, the new legislation would make it easier to prosecute those in possession with harsher punishments.
Nitrous oxide has many non-drug-related uses, such as making whipped cream or being used for pain relief in hospitals.
In 2021, there were efforts made to ban nitrous oxide altogether, but The Royal Society for Public Health stated, “The government’s insistence on criminalization and incarceration for minor drug offenses worsens problems linked to illicit drug use, including social inequality and violence.”
Watch a short video on why laughing gas could be banned in the UK below: