Cottage Grove, Public Safety & Health

CG group helps shut down youth access to ‘whip-its’

Members of the Cottage Grove Youth Advisory Council (CGYAC) recently corresponded with the City of Creswell regarding sales of nitrous oxide to minors, which has been an issue impacting youth in our communities.
Concerns stemmed from hearing testimony at a Cottage Grove City Council meeting by a mother whose son who nearly died in an automobile crash while under the influence of nitrous oxide inhalants, Chelsea Armstrong, co-chair of the CGYAC stated in the correspondence.
“It was quite alarming to find that nearly every convenience store and the local smoke shop in Cottage Grove has nitrous oxide canisters, commonly called “whip-its,” available for sale to everyone,” Armstrong said.
CGYAC is comprised of local middle and high school-aged youth who meet regularly to discuss issues facing youth.
During the 2017 Legislative Session, CGYAC, with the assistance of Representative Cedric Hayden, has a bill introduced that would regulate the sale of nitrous oxide to minors. CGYAC members testified before the House Committee on Healthcare and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“With the help of our legislators, Representative Hayden and Senator Floyd Prozanski, the bill, with nearly unanimous support, passed both chambers and it was signed by Governor (Kate) Brown,” Armstrong stated.
The provisions of the bill were incorporated into the Oregon Revised Statutes and went into effect on Jan. 1, prohibiting the sale of nitrous oxide to anyone under 18.
“The abuse of nitrous oxide among youth is a serious issue, and for the safety of the youth we hope that your community will take an active approach to make sure the sale of nitrous oxide is being conducted in compliance with State Law,” Armstrong stated. “We know that this legislation will not end the abuse of nitrous oxide, but we hope that it will make it a little more difficult for youth to acquire the product.”
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