Laughing Gas No Laughing Matter

SPN Laughing Gas BustThe Guardia Civil confiscated 53,000 capsules of laughing gas, thousands of dosage devices and 7,000 balloons in Sant Antoni, Ibiza.

Three supermarket owners on Calle de Isidor Macabich have been charged, although only one of them possessed the majority of the confiscated goods, which have a street value of 600,000 euros.

The three suspects claimed that the stored nitrous oxide had been for industrial use.

This is not the first bust on the Balearic islands because on July the 30th a similar quantity of laughing gas was located and confiscated in a ferretería on Calle Sant Rafel. The owner claimed that it was legal as he had been selling it for years as a propellant gas for whipped cream and charging canister-fed air guns.

However, when this gas is sold for human use it is considered ‘medicine’ and as such must be prescribed by a doctor – selling it for recreational is illegal, as a historical case from 2013 on the islands goes to show..

On that occasion 55,000 laughing-gas capsules and around 500 dosage devices, plus 21,000 ballons were seized. The total black-market value was 800,000 euros.

All told, in the various police operations on the islands, 40 people have been arrested and charged with medication trafficking.

The following information is from wikipedia:

In Britain and Canada, Entonox and Nitronox are used commonly by ambulance crews (including unregistered practitioners) as a rapid and highly effective analgesic gas.

Recreational inhalation of nitrous oxide, with the purpose of causing euphoria and/or slight hallucinations, began as a phenomenon for the British upper classes in 1799, known as laughing gas parties.

However, if pure nitrous oxide is inhaled without oxygen mixed in, this can eventually lead to oxygen deprivation resulting in loss of blood pressure, fainting and even heart attacks.

This can occur if the user inhales large quantities continuously, as with a strap-on mask connected to a gas canister. It can also happen if the user engages in excessive breath-holding or uses any other inhalation system that cuts off their supply of fresh air.

(News: Sant Antoni, Balearic Islands)

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