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Nitrous Oxide banned from today Published Date: 08/11/2023

The law changes today to make possession of nitrous oxide illegal from 8 November 2023 if it is, or is likely to be, wrongfully inhaled, by classifying it as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and placing it in Schedule 5 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. Guidance on the changes has been published by the Home Office.

From 8 November, those found in unlawful possession will face either an unlimited fine, a visible community punishment or a caution - which would appear on their criminal record. Repeat serious offenders may face a prison sentence of up to two years, an unlimited fine, or both.

The penalty for supply or production will double, to up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

The Home Office has produced guidance to explain the changes to the law, including what it means for legitimate users of nitrous oxide and how to ensure compliance with the new legislation.