I’m sure we’re a bit late on the scene, but after tripping on so many empty cartridges of nitrous oxide aka laughing gas, it was time to find out what the fuss was all about.
For starters, there is a difference between nitrous oxide used as an anaesthetic for medical uses, like when I had my wisdom teeth pulled out, and the nitrous oxide for recreational use, according to a Dutch website on drugs. The latter is not mixed with oxygen and is meant for industrial use, which means it does not have to meet the requirements for recreational use and is relatively stronger.
Laughing gas is usually inhaled after filling a balloon with it and its effects are immediate, making it popular with young people. I wonder how parents are dealing with it. Since July 2016 laughing gas falls under the Commodities Act instead of the Medicines Act, making it easily and legally available, even on Facebook (see screenshot). Of course there are risks involved with inhaling too much of it, doing it too often or doing using it incorrectly that would permanently mess up your brain, but it’s legal and popular, and the Dutch government is apparently not too worried.
If only users could pick up after themselves, as I see tons of these cartridges littering the streets of Amsterdam. Parents, you could at least remind your kids to pick up after themselves.