VICTORIA— Today, New Democrat public safety spokesperson, Mike Farnworth, tabled provincial legislation to restrict the use of pill presses and other equipment as part of the province’s response to the overdose crisis.
“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,” said Farnworth. “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 B.C.
“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.”
Today, Premier Christy Clark reiterated the approach her cabinet ministers have taken over the past months, calling for the federal government to take action on pill presses. “The premier is prepared to wait, New Democrats aren’t,” said Farnworth.
Farnworth’s legislation, titled the Public Health Protection Act, 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 sets out significant fines for illegal ownership of the equipment listed in the act, with fines of upwards to $375,000 and imprisonment.
The bill can be read here: Public Health Protection Act 2016