Alberta NDP may support private member’s bill to restrict pill machines

Alberta NDP may support private members bill aimed at cracking down on drug dealers and production. File/ Global News

EDMONTON – Alberta’s NDP government says it may support a private member’s bill to restrict who can own pill-pressing machines in the hope it would put a dent in the illegal drug trade.

Progressive Conservative Mike Ellis says his bill would require someone to have a licence to own a pill machine and anyone found breaking the law would face fines or a jail term of up to six months.

READ MORE: Alberta PC justice critic introduces bill to crack down on fentanyl, W-18 dealers

Criminal gangs import dangerous drugs such as fentanyl into Alberta in powder form and use machines to press it into pills that are sold on the street.

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the government is studying the proposed legislation in great detail and is likely to support it.

But Ganley says it would be more effective if the federal government made owning pill presses a criminal office nationwide.

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The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police has passed a resolution that calls on Ottawa to create federal regulations under the Controlled Drugs Act to govern the sale and possession of pill presses.

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