Alberta MLAs pass bill restricting sale of presses used to make fentanyl pills
Private member's bill passed third reading unanimously
An Alberta bill to restrict access to presses used to make pills of illegal drugs such as fentanyl and W18 will soon become law, the first of its kind in Canada.
Bill 205 unanimously passed third and final reading in the Alberta legislature Monday afternoon.
The legislation was proposed by PC MLA and former Calgary police officer Mike Ellis, who said he was pleased the bill had support from MLAs of all parties.
"This is what Albertans have been asking for, for a long time," the Calgary-West MLA said.
"Let's not let the party colours separate us. Let's understand that we have a crisis, we're Albertans first and that we're going to work together on a common goal."
Once the bill is proclaimed into law, the purchase of pill presses, table machines, capsule filling machines and pharmaceutical mixers will be limited to pharmacists or people holding licences.
A person found guilty of illegally possessing a press will face a fine of $50,000 for a first offence.
An amendment to the bill toughens the penalties for repeat offenders. A second conviction could mean a $125,000 fine, up to six months in jail or both.
Anyone convicted a third time can be fined $375,000 and receive one year in jail.
The bill is the first of its kind in Canada. MLAs said they hope it encourages the federal government to take action on the issue.