There are complaints about drug use outside of the Warner Theatre in D.C. FOX 5 has received calls from viewers upset about what the crowds were doing outside there.
Wednesday was the second night in a row that the rock band, Widespread Panic, has played at the downtown D.C. venue. Although the band has quite a following, it is what has been happening outside the concert that has many talking.
From afar, the scene could seem like a fairground with people just looking for a fun time. Balloons are being filled up, but it's not helium being used, but instead -- nitrous oxide. And it's all for a concert crowd looking for a quick high.
These are also known as whip-its. The laughing gas is most commonly used under medical supervision to relax a patient. It will calm anxiety, but if you inhale it too quickly, under the wrong circumstance and without appropriate supervision, health experts say inhaling nitrous oxide can lead to oxygen deprivation that leads to a drop in blood pressure and can result in fainting or even heart attacks.
We saw a man walking around selling the nitrous oxide balloons just as an FBI agent rode past the crowd without stopping.
We did check D.C. code for anything regarding nitrous oxide and there is nothing in there that states whether it is legal to inhale, possess or even transport it.
We called D.C. police to advise them of the situation outside of the Warner Theatre and they said they were unaware of this despite many business owners telling us they had contacted police as well.
When the officers pulled up, they also had questions. One of them called his sergeant asking how to proceed in this situation. In the end, no arrests were made.
If you are curious as to how much these balloons are going for, they were being sold for $5 apiece.