#Law Reform
Canadian Government

In January and February of this year, 50 Albertans – mostly young people – died from a FENTANYL overdose. That’s nearly one a day. Three students in one high school graduating class died. Dozens more are dying across Canada.

This week there was an article in the Calgary Herald entitled: “Fentanyl death toll on the rise.” That’s a huge understatement. The death toll is skyrocketing.

Fentanyl is a pain killer drug that is so deadly that it prescribed in micrograms rather than milligrams. When injected, people sometimes die so fast that the needle is found, still in their arm. It is often mixed with or sold as OxyContin, and in a pill, one extra speck the size of a grain of sugar can kill you. Across Canada it’s happening almost daily.

Did any of the parties mention it during the recent Alberta campaign? Have you heard about an emergency debate in Parliament? Did this sneak up on the politicians we elect, and the bureaucrats we pay to protect us? Is this something new?

Well, not exactly. Fentanyl and Fentanyl laced OxyContin related deaths started a couple of decades ago, so there’s been plenty of warning. More recently, in October 2011, the CBC reported: “The painkiller Fentanyl is being increasingly used on the streets, warn experts, who say the drug is cheaper and 100 times more potent than morphine.” (It’s now many times stronger than that)

In August 2013, the CBC reported that there were eight overdoses and three deaths in one weekend in Hamilton Ontario.

In March this year, CTV news reported that in 2014 there were more than 100 deaths in Alberta. This year we are on track to far exceed that.

This week’s article in the Herald explained that Canada is one of the world’s Fentanyl hotspots, and the reason is pretty simple. You can buy a pill press, online, for about $7000; buy a kilo of fentanyl for $12,000; and make 1 million pills. They’re worth $40 million on the street!

In the United States the sale of every pill press must be reported. But in Canada, simply because of the way the law is written, pill presses do not fit the description of a “device” under the Food and Drugs act, because they do not have a direct effect on the end-user. Compression stockings on the other hand, are a “device.”

I’ve read the relative sections of the Food and Drugs Act, and in 20 minutes, any competent lawyer could change the wording to include pill presses, and remediate this deadly deficiency. This is not a cure, but a very simple change in the law that will reduce harm.

It will only take a couple of minutes to sign the petition, which will go to the Federal Health Minister, Rona Ambrose, and to Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

Let’s put people power to work to correct this gap in the law.
Thanks for being involved!

Dave Reesor

Due to the devastation caused by the easy availability of pill presses in Canada; our country has become a centre for the manufacture of deadly drugs like Fentanyl. In the United States, the sale of pill presses is regulated.

We the undersigned request that the federal government immediately amend the Food and Drugs Act to make pill presses a device subject to registration.

We further request that the law be amended to require owners to register existing presses within a period of six months from the date the law is enacted.

We further request that the law stipulate that failure to register a pill press device shall be a criminal offense, with a minimum sentence of five years, and up to a lifetime sentence if it is proven that the press was used to produce illegal pills that led to death(s).

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The Stop Fentanyl killing Canadians petition to Canadian Government was written by Let's Do It Ourselves and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.