The State Council, which considers and recommends all new bills, states that the government should not ban the sale of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) as planned.
This measure would be overkill, as gas has many legal uses, including pain relief, the council said Monday. Bans will also be difficult to crack down on.
The government, along with marijuana, plans to include laughing gas in its official list of soft drugs. Users will not be prosecuted, but it will criminalize possession, trading and production of drugs.
Instead, the State Council recommends that the government consider less extensive measures to address the health risks associated with long-term use of laughing gas. This may include better monitoring and informationalization.
Ministers have announced plans to include laughing gas in the opium law at the end of 2019 to stop the recreational use of the drug.
According to a Trimbos Institute survey, in 2020, 1 in 50 adults and 1 in 13 college students used laughing gas. Police statistics also show that there have been 1,800 road accidents in the last three years, 63 of which have died.
Meanwhile, many Dutch municipalities, including Amsterdam, have introduced ordinances banning the use of gas in public places.
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