Municipality of Amsterdam to ban laughing gas
Joining a long list of municipalities and cities across the Netherlands, Amsterdam has decided to ban the sale of nitrous oxide - more commonly known as laughing gas - at events, bars, and nightclubs in the capital.
Amsterdam latest municipality to limit sale of nitrous oxide
The ban doesn’t come as a surprise - it is something the municipality has been discussing for a while as the use of laughing gas became more and more prevalent and problematic, specifically within the city centre.
The Labour Party (PvdA) and ChristenUnie proposed the ban, arguing that the drug causes heart problems and spinal cord injuries, specifically amongst young users, and that the use of laughing gas has led to a significant number of traffic accidents over the past two years.
"Nitrous oxide is not only a danger for the user himself, but also for his or her environment", says PvdA party leader Sofyan Mbarki, “As a municipality, we must therefore set a standard. Nitrous oxide is like poison and poison should not be sold in Amsterdam.” D66, Bij1, and GroenLinks voted against the proposed ban.
Laughing gas: A growing issue in the Netherlands
The Dutch government is also looking to take action against laughing gas, and had hoped to introduce a ban at the start of the year, however, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis said it was not practically feasible. It is not yet clear when the national ban will be introduced.
According to NOS, nearly 200 municipalities across the Netherlands have already introduced legislation to tackle the use of laughing gas, with 11 municipalities - including The Hague - enforcing a total ban on the use of the drug.