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The Netherlands To Crack Down on Nitrous Oxide Gas

Leaders in The Netherlands have had enough of party-renting companies that rent out tanks of Nitrous Oxide and provide balloons and other equipment.

The high provided by nitrous oxide—aka laughing gas or whip-its—will no longer be tolerated in The Netherlands under a bill proposed recently. Up until recently, Dutch party host could contact a laughing-gas company to rent equipment like they were renting a booth.

Bruno Bruins (Dutch Health Minister) presented a bill in November to Parliament that would require wholesalers and retailers to set a voluntary minimum age for selling nitrous oxide canisters.

“The recreational use of laughing gas leads to enormous health risks,” State Secretary Van Ooijen (VWS) said in the briefing, translated on Google. “In addition, the safety of non-users is also at stake. Numerous reports have reported on terrible accidents that have resulted from road users using laughter gas. Society has called for the prohibition of recreational laughing gas use in recent years. I am pleased that we can bring this ban into effect from January 1, 2023.”

This was June 2013. The Volkskrant reported that dozens of companies have come out of the woodwork in The Netherlands selling and delivering laughing gas as a party drug—reportedly with names like Partygas and Lachgas Express. They supply gas tanks, as well as balloons to hold gas.

“The nitrous oxide ban helps the police enormously in enforcement. With the ban, having nitrous oxide with you—possession—in itself becomes a criminal offense,” said Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (JenV), as translated from Google. “This allows the police to act sooner. That is not possible if the laughing gas used in traffic causes public nuisance and creates dangerous situations. The ban will allow the police to immediately take action against anyone who has non-professional laughing gas or transports gas bottles and balloons in their cars. Hopefully we can prevent accidents this way.”

For recreational purposes, Nitrous Oxide

Take a look at this: Chronic News writer Nico Escondido, Chronic News founder Thomas King Forçade conceived the idea for the top pot magazine with a group of friends over a tank of nitrous oxide. As Amsterdam was the birthplace of Cannabis Cup, it’s likely those tanks were present at early events.

Leaders hope that the initiative will improve safety on Dutch roads. TeamAlert, a road safety monitor, has found that laughing gas is responsible for more than 1,800 fatalities in The Netherlands within the past three-years. “Almost two a day, figures that really shocked us,” Maartje Oosterink of TeamAlert told ADThis newspaper was published earlier in this month.

For the uninformed, these dangers can be quite real. Overuse of nitrous dioxide is not like weed. can actually kill you.

Exempted from this ban are those who use nitrous dioxide for technical or food purposes. Starting January 1, 2023 the ban will apply to all sales, purchases, possessions, handing, and transfer of nitrous dioxide in gascylinders to non-profit organizations.

The Opium Act Articles 6-8 requires that manufacturers and wholesalers in The Netherlands of medical nitrous dioxide apply for an exemption from opium. Although small amounts of nitrous oxide used for whip cream in catering are still allowed, they cannot be resold. 

Over the next few weeks, all details regarding the ban will have been ironed.