The Village Voice Investigates The Nitrous Oxide Game : Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! The Village Voice looks into the so-called 'Nitrous Mafia,' the people that sell nitrous oxide for recreational purposes at music festivals. It's much more like regular drug dealing than you'd expect.
NPR logo 'Hippie Crack' And The 'Nitrous Mafia'

'Hippie Crack' And The 'Nitrous Mafia'

He's not blowing them up. TIM SLOAN/AFP hide caption

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Just read this Village Voice piece about the "hippie crack" racket. I had no idea nitrous oxide was called "hippie crack," that there's something called a Nitrous Mafia, or that the whole thing was so serious:

With the ability to fill up to 350 [nitrous oxide] balloons per tank, which they sell for $5 and $10, [dealers] can bank more than $300,000 per festival, minus expenses.

It's like The Wire, but with way more giggling. The piece is worth a read.