The Diario de Ibiza has published a report stating that they have observed Nitrous Oxide, N2O, laughing gas being openly sold by illegal street vendors on the s’Arenal beach promenade in San Antonio.

Diario reporter José Miguel L. Romero went to the s’Arenal promenade on Saturday from 7.50p.m. to 8.50p.m.

In what he refers to as “the independent republic of laughing gas” he bares witness to “a score of traffickers, all African” openly selling laughing gas as “highly profitable business of that low cost drug”.

The capsules, actually sold as gas for creaming devices used in catering, cost a few cents each. Dispensed in a balloon which is then inhaled by the user, they have historically been sold for 5€ each,  though Romero says the price has now been reduced to 2 for 5€.

He says that in the hour he was there, not one police officer was seen, and that the floor was littered with discarded balloons and empty gas canisters.

Romero goes on to explain that the street sellers were engaging people in giving explanations on how to use the gas, and that he counted 20 sellers on the promenade and on the beach, some of whom where openly advertising their availability by holding ready inflated balloons.

Read the full report in the diario here

Editorial Comment:

Residents and Workers of San Antonio will not find anything remarkable in this report. The sale of laughing gas on the s’Arenal promenade, along with the offer of other substances and allegations of associated crime perpetrated by those selling the drugs, are a well known problem to all those of us who live here.

What makes it news is not so much the subject itself, but that the Spanish press are taking notice. That is no guarantee of gaining police action, but it certainly has greater prospect of achieving it than us locals moaning on facebook.

Also noteworthy is the reduction in price from 1 balloon for 5€ to now being 2 balloons for 5€. As is the way in such things, this would indicate a significant increase in volume of sales. Drug dealers do not tend to reduce prices unless competition and volume demand it. 

The diario reporter visited the promenade at 8pm, a time when many families are still walking with their children. I will not say it is acceptable in public at any time, but I certainly do not want my child to be exposed to off-their-face staggering wreck-heads when we leave a restaurant and walk the promenade. I will not moralise about them doing it, but I will moralise about them doing it in front of my child. I can burst or take their balloon if I see them doing it when I am with my child, but though that may deal with an individual user it will have no effect on the sellers. As the report says, and we all know, they ply their trade without fear of consequence.