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Police raided traders in Khao San Road earlier this morning after it was “discovered” they were selling balloons filled with nitrous oxide – also called laughing gas or hippy crack.
The anesthetic that has often been used as a recreational drug was openly on sale in the tourist street. Chana Songkram police chief Maj-Gen Sukhun Phromayon led a group of food and drug administration officials in the raid that netted nine traders. The Maj-Gen told Thai Rath that secret agents had informed his men after discovering that laughing gas was being sold in the street. (It is right next to the police station, notes Thaivisa). Many tourists were availing themselves of the nitrous oxide. So his teams formulated a plan to bust them and end their balloon caper. Nine female and male traders were charged with selling medicines without a permit and selling unregistered drugs.
The penalties are severe – five years jail and/or 10,000 baht fine for the former and 3 years/ 5,000 baht for the latter. Dr Tharet Krasanairawiwong said it was no laughing matter. The gas is legally used as an anesthetic in hospitals and in airbags in the car industry. But illegal use in entertainment areas is becoming ever more prevalent. Taking too much of the gas can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, fainting fits, injuries and unconsciousness. Long term use can be hazardous with possible nerve and muscle damage.
Thai Visa / Thai Rath