Laughing gas users will face two years in jail if caught, government announces
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Laughing gas users will face two years in jail if they are caught, the UK government has announced.
Too much nitrous oxide can make you faint, lose consciousness, or suffocate, according to FRANK, and people have shared horror stories about their experiences after using the drug.
Under existing law, the production, supply and importation of nitrous oxide for its psychoactive effects is illegal, though possession, apart from in custodial setting, is not.
However, the UK government has now announced that is all set to change with new rules - which will see the drug categorised as a class C drug - coming into play later this year.
Back in March, Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove announced the gas would be banned by the government to clamp down on anti-social behaviour.
At the time, Gove was confronted on Sophy Ridge on Sunday and was asked whether it was right to punish people for taking drugs when Gove himself had admitted to drug use in the past.
Ridge asked Gove: "Are you really going to give people a criminal record for taking laughing gas?"
Gove insisted that the government had to deal with the 'scourge' of drugs and said they would not be following guidance from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which had recommended against banning laughing gas.
He replied: "We want to make sure that we deal with the scourge, and it is the case that we need to be clear that there are types of activity that cause distress to others in public and it's unacceptable.
"Of course it's absolutely right that we uphold the law in this case. Yes the advisory committee have offered their advice but ultimately it's ministers who are responsible.
"We believe collectively it's absolutely vital that we deal with this scourge, and in the same way."
Regarding today's (5 September) announcement that those caught using laughing gas would face two years in jail, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: "The British people are fed up with yobs abusing drugs in public spaces and leaving behind a disgraceful mess for others to clean up.
"Earlier this year the prime minister and I promised a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and that is what we are delivering.
"If you are caught using 'laughing gas' as a drug, you could be hit with a hefty fine or face jail time."
Meanwhile, Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp said: "We cannot allow young people to think there are no consequences to misusing drugs.
"There is no question that abusing laughing gas is dangerous to people's health and it is paramount we take decisive action before the situation gets worse."