Walk through the centre of any UK city and you'll find small, silver canisters littered all over the streets. Go to any house party and rest assured there'll be a "NOS man" selling laughing gas. Go to the Mail Online and you may well find moral panic warnings about "hippy crack" or watch videos of Premiership footballers sucking balloons. Us Brits bloody love laughing gas, so the Tories want it banned.
The Conservatives announced (via the Queen) that they would be clamping down on the sale of legal highs in a brand new Psychoactive Substances Bill. This is bad news for anyone peddling nitrous oxide, the hugely popular gas that invokes a brief feeling of dizziness and euphoria.
Possession is still cool, so if you must carry on, just keep schtum about who gave it to you. Other legal highs, such as the synthetic cannabis "spice" are also to be prohibited, with the bill shutting down the sale of "any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect”.
The Guardian reports that drug researchers are very disappointed with the new law, concerned that it will shut down research and ban scientifically valuable substances.
Selling laughing gas will carry a maximum jail sentence of seven years, but dentists will presumably still be allowed to continue using the drug as an anaesthetic. To anyone laughing gas vendors out there feeling glum, here's the Queen saying "psychoactive drugs" in public for the first (and probably last) time.