State lawmakers ban on whippets close to becoming law after Clinton Township explosion

"Just because it’s accessible and legal does not mean it’s safe," said Democrat State Rep. Natalie Price.

Price is talking about nitrous oxide - commonly known as whippets. It’s a quick high easily found at gas stations.

There were hundreds of whippet canisters among the illegally stored materials that exploded in that massive warehouse fire and explosion Monday in Clinton Township.

"When I heard that nitrous oxide was a factor in this explosion, it just felt like it made me feel like the work that we’re doing - there’s a reason," she said.

Price — along with other state lawmakers — worked hard to get legislation passed that will make selling the little cartridges illegal in Michigan.

"The high that people get from it is only a few seconds but the consequences can be for the rest of their lives," Price said.

Related: 19-year-old killed in Clinton Township blast remembered as 'an amazing person'

Nitrous oxide is commonly marketed to young people.

"It can turn into a great gateway drug for these young people," said Republican Sen. Joseph Bellino. "In the world of addiction we’re not sure what the real gateway drug is for everybody across the spectrum, usually it’s what ever you can get a hold of."

"One of the problems that we see, is since nitrous oxide is legal to purchase and it’s so wildly available, that people assume it’s safe to inhale," Price said.

"If you want to raise awareness and get the knowledge out there to people who care, and if the people who care, have more power than the people who don't care - we get things done." Bellino.

The legislation has passed the State House and the State Senate and will be signed into law by the governor.