The sale of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to the public will be banned and the police will be given enhanced drug-testing powers as part of Rishi Sunak’s attempt to crack down on antisocial behaviour “with urgency”.
The levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, said the proposals would stop parks being turned into drug-taking arenas, and would help ministers stamp out antisocial behaviour.
The ban comes a month after the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) warned against one and said it would be disproportionate with the level of harm associated with nitrous oxide. It said such control could create “significant burdens” for legitimate uses of the substance.
Experts have criticised the “same old tired drug policy” from the Conservatives, insisting the ban will not stop young people from using it.