The possession and recreational use of nitrous oxide is now illegal in the UK as new Government legislation takes effect from today.
Nitrous oxide – which is also known as laughing gas, ‘hippie crack’, balloons, and nos – is the second most-used drug among 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK, after cannabis.
If you’re unfamiliar with the substance, as defined by FRANK, nitrous oxide is “a colourless gas most commonly found in pressurised metal canisters which you may have seen lying around in streets outside bars and nightclubs.”
It’s often consumed by “transferring the gas into a container (usually a balloon), then inhaling from the balloon”, and this is because “inhaling nitrous oxide directly from the canister is very dangerous [as] the gas is under such high pressure, which can cause a spasm of the throat muscle and stop a person breathing.”
The popularity of the drug is believed to be due to the fact that it’s cheap and easy to get hold of, and it’s while it’s known to produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and calmness, as well as fits of giggles and laughter, it’s also linked to a wide range of negative side effects.
After making the announcement of intent in early September, the Home Office has confirmed that, from today (8 November 2023), the possession and recreational use of nitrous oxide is now illegal in the UK, as the substance has been reclassified and upgraded to a class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The new legislation – which is part of the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, that was promised earlier this year – means users of the substance could face up to two years in prison, while sellers could see themselves spend up to 14 years behind bars.
Other consequences include unlimited fines, a visible community punishment, and a caution which would appear on criminal records.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the British public are “fed up with yobs abusing drugs in public spaces and leaving behind a disgraceful mess for others to clean up” in a statement confirming the intention to reclassify nitrous oxide back in September.
Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp said the country “cannot allow young people to think there are no consequences to misusing drugs”.
“We are delivering on the promise we made to take a zero-tolerance approach towards antisocial behaviour and flagrant drug taking in our public spaces,” he continued in a statement on the introduction of the new legislation today.
“Abuse of nitrous oxide is also dangerous to people’s health and today we are sending a clear signal to young people that there are consequences for misusing drugs.
“Both users and dealers will face the full force of the law for their actions.”
Featured Image – Supplied (via Facebook)
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”