Have you ever inhaled the compressed air in the whipped cream can in your (or your friend’s) refrigerator for the quick high it gives you? If you did you committed a misdemeanor pursuant to Michigan Law. The gas that forces the whipped cream out is nitrous oxide. It comes in a few different forms. You can buy them, over the counter, in packs from 12-24 small canisters called whip-its. Each canister can be placed in a dispenser that is supposed to be used for making whipped cream. Instead it can be directly (with the use of a balloon) inhaled into the human body for a high that lasts for 30 to 45 seconds. A dentist will usually have a 10 to 20 pound nitrous tank. Combine the tank and a package of balloons and a whole party can get high for hours. Despite the fact that it can be legal to possess the nitrous, it is illegal to inhale it for a buzz. There are not many drugs with that same legal distinction.
In Michigan inhaling anything to get high is illegal, whether it contains nitrous oxide or not. The law specifically says that inhaling any chemical agent to cause intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, or to dull your senses is a 93-day misdemeanor and carries fines up to $100.00.
Simply giving a person a whipped cream can so that the other person can get high is also a crime, but much more serious because it contains nitrous oxide. If it’s your first offense it’s a 93-day misdemeanor, if it’s your second offense it’s a 1-year misdemeanor, and if it’s your third or subsequent offense you’re looking at a 4-year felony.
Whip-its and other inhalants have become increasingly popular since actress Demi Moore’s much-televised whip-it overdose in 2012. In that year alone, 719,000 people age 12 and over reported using some form of inhalants within the prior 12 months. Not to mention, it’s easy to get. A person can find whip cream in nearly any grocery store they walk into. Whip its are sold over the counter at head shops everywhere. The ease of finding it probably attributes to the fact that inhalants are the fourth most-abused substance after alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.
Aside from causing you legal trouble, whip-its and other inhalants can also cause loss of consciousness, mouth and throat injury, liver and kidney damage and long-term nerve damage. Not to mention, inhalants deprive your brain of oxygen. Imagine yourself being strangled – same thing! Whip-its containing nitrous oxide has even been known to freeze your face just like frostbite would.
If you or a loved one has been charged with an inhalant crime in the Oakland, Wayne or Macomb County communities of Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Warren, Troy, Sterling Heights or any surrounding area and want the best criminal defense lawyer, contact an attorney at the Law Office of Barton Morris today.