Justice secretary hits back at criticism of nitrous oxide ban

Robert Buckland says laughing gas is dangerous after David Nutt argues beer is more toxic
The Guardian (UK)
Thursday, January 16, 2020

nitrous oxideThe UK justice secretary, Robert Buckland, has hit back at the former drugs adviser David Nutt for labelling the government’s criminalisation of nitrous oxide hysterical. Buckland said nitrous, also known as laughing gas or hippy crack, was a dangerous drug, and giving young people mixed messages could put lives at risk. Nutt, a former adviser to the Home Office and more recently a vocal critic of government drugs policy, said nitrous was far less toxic or addictive than wine or beer. Nitrous oxide was banned alongside other co-called legal highs in 2016, but Nutt said the substance could be “fun without the risks of alcohol”. “The effect is over in a few minutes. You’re perfectly safe, you can go back home, you can drive, you are much more in control of it, you don’t have a hangover,” he said.