Another Brussels municipality approves immediate ban on laughing gas
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    Another Brussels municipality approves immediate ban on laughing gas

    The use of laughing gas as a recreational drug has seen a surge in popularity in Belgium. Credit: Evie McCullough/The Brussels Times

    Another municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region approved a police order on Monday evening banning the unlimited sale of nitrogen oxide in shops, as well as the consumption of laughing gas in public spaces.

    Following in the footsteps of Mechelen, Comines and Sint-Joost-Ten-Node, Koekelberg is the newest addition to the list of places in Belgium that have a ban on laughing gas.

    “The consumption of laughing gas is not only a threat to public health, but also to public order. I have chosen to take the lead and not to wait for the intervention of the federal government,” Mayor Ahmed Laaouej (PS) told Bruzz.

    The order specifically prohibits the sale of nitric oxide capsules in all Koekelberg stores, the sale of nitric oxide capsules to minors, as well as the consumption of laughing gas in public spaces. It is effective immediately, Laaouej (PS) added.

    Nitrous oxide’s euphoric and sometimes hallucinogenic effects have earned it numerous nicknames, including laughing gas, epiphany drug or hippy crack. Use of the product continues to grow in popularity in Belgium, especially by teenagers, despite efforts to curb the trend.

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    As a result of the new order, the Koekelberg police are allowed to seize and destroy any nitric oxide capsules discovered on public roads and in other public spaces.

    Just as in the Brussels municipality of Sint-Joost-Ten-Node, the authorities of which banned the sale and consumption of laughing gas at the end of October, administrative fines can be imposed for those who break the law.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times