A large majority of Eindhoven politicians support a local ban on the sale and recreational use of laughing gas.
VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), LPF (List Pim Fortuyn), CDA (Christian Democrats) and PvdA (Labour Party), among other parties, think it is good that Eindhoven is no longer waiting for a national ban. “Waiting for that is not an option anymore. We have to take matters into our own hands”, LPF councillor, Tjerk Langman, says.
The parties think that a local ban helps to counteract all kinds of problems. “The use of laughing gas now causes nuisance, waste and dangerous situations”, Fatimzahra Chahim of the VVD says. The PvdA also sees the need for a ban. “Laughing gas carries major health risks. It affects the development of the adolescent brain”, councillor Wil van Haalen emphasises. The CDA party is also adamant. Councillor Miriam Frosi: “A ban? Better late than never. Young people must realise that use is not healthy. Local residents also experience nuisance”.
However, Mayor John Jorritsma is not getting all the support he needs. Opposition parties D66 (Democrats) and SP (Socialist Party) are critical. “Is it wise to ban laughing gas? A ban often does not help. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on education and prevention”, SP councillor Sytze van der Veen wonders. D66 colleague Mpanzu Bamenga also has doubts. “I wonder if prohibition will work. I don’t see the urgency”.
In Eindhoven, some 300 incidents involving laughing gas were reported in the autumn of last year. The police in the city are concerned about the increasing number of reports. According to the city council, young people who use the soft drug cause nuisance in neighbourhoods. Furthermore, traffic accidents occur as a result of the use of laughing gas.
Jorritsma is happy with the support from the city council. “Enforcement officers and agents now have an additional task. We can now take better action. Although this is not a new safety priority.”
Translated by: Bob