“Alberta now leads the nation in our fight against illicit drugs by restricting pill presses,” said Mike Ellis, Critic for Justice and Solicitor General and MLA for Calgary-West. “This bill will save lives. However, this is just one small step in our fight against opioid drug abuse. We must ensure there are strong intervention supports such as addiction counselling and long-term treatment beds to address the root causes of drug addiction.”
Bill 205 will regulate the ownership, operation and possession of pill and tablet presses and tablet dies. Pill presses purchased online can manufacture 3,000 pills of fentanyl or W-18 per hour. Commercial tablet machines can produce 10,000 to 18,000 pills per hour. The bill also implements hefty fines for illegal ownership of a press, with fines reaching $50,000 for a first offence to $375,000 for a third offence, or one year imprisonment.
“The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) applauds the provincial legislature for demonstrating leadership in passing pill press legislation,” said AACP President, Chief Andy McGrogan. “In 2015, the AACP unanimously passed a resolution in support of this type of legislation. The province of Alberta is currently experiencing a public health crisis, specifically, unintended overdoses of illicit street drugs containing the active ingredient fentanyl. The pill press facilitates the production of illicit street drugs in tablet form. This is a very important public safety issue and this legislation will increase our ability to keep communities safe.”