Nitrous oxide

Law

  • Not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
  • Controlled under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. Under the Act, possession for personal use is not an offence, but the following activities are:
    • Production (including for personal use);
    • Supply or offering to supply;
    • Aggravated supply or offering to supply (near schools, prisons etc. or using someone under 18 as a courier);
    • Possession with intent to supply;
    • Importation;
    • Exportation;
    • Possession in prisons (and other custodial institutions).
  • More detailed information on the Act can be found here.
  • For all offences, the prosecution will have to prove that a substance is psychoactive, something that we believe will be very difficult in Court. There is limited evidence of nitrous oxide creating a psychoctive effect in humans. Because this is still a relatively new law it is hard to say what will happen when cases come to Court. 
  • The Intoxicating Substances Supply Act 1985, previously dealt with supply of nitrous oxide to under 18s - this has now been repealed and replaced by the Psychoactive Substances Act.