NDP table legislation to restrict the use of pill presses as part of overdose response

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After Christy Clark announced a new task force yesterday to try and help slow down the drug overdose crisis, the NDP tabled legislation to restrict the use of pill presses used for fentanyl and other equipment as part of BC’s response to the overdose epidemic.

NDP safety spokesperson, Mike Farnworth, tabled the provincial legislation yesterday.

“This legislation exercises provincial powers to restrict the use of pill presses and other pharmaceutical equipment to reduce the supply of illegally manufactured and distributed fentanyl that is a major factor in the overdose crisis. It is similar to legislation that was passed with all-party support in Alberta a few short months ago, and I hope to see it passed with all-party support in BC.

Alberta legislators decided to exercise their jurisdiction to take steps against the illegal production of illicit opioids, instead of waiting for the federal government to take action.”

The NDP says that while Premier Clark is waiting for the federal government to step in and take action against pill presses, the NDP won’t wait.

The NDP’s legislation is titled the “Public Health Protection Act.” It states they want restrictions on who can own a pill press and who can’t.

“Amends existing provincial statute to restrict who can own and operate equipment like pill and tablet presses as well as tablet machines. Pill presses can manufacture 3,000 pills of fentanyl hourly, while commercial tablet machines can produce 10,000 to 18,000 pills per hour.”

The tabled legislation also lists fines of up to $375,000 for illegal ownership of machines. Jail could also be a consequence if caught with a pill machine.

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