Althia Raj (The Huffington Post Canada):
Joy Davies has stepped down as the Liberal candidate in the B.C. riding of South Surrey–White Rock after telling The Huffington Post Canada it is safe for pregnant women to smoke pot and that it might make their kids smarter.
“After much consideration, I have decided to resign as the Liberal candidate for South Surrey – White Rock, effective immediately,” said Davies in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“I believe in the work that the Liberal team is doing and my personal opinion and past comments should not distract from what is most important right now — ensuring all Canadians receive the real change and new leadership they deserve.”
The Liberal party confirmed Davies’ resignation on Thursday in a statement.
“Ms. Davies’ views in no way reflect the values or policies of the Liberal Party of Canada,” it said, adding that a new candidate will be nominated for the constituency.
Davies, a founding member of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners Society, received support from several marijuana activists, such as Jodie Emery, after HuffPost first published a story with her controversial comments.
In an interview with HuffPost on Wednesday, Davies said she had gone through a lengthy vetting process and that party officials knew her views.
She stood firm on comments she had made on Facebook saying that marijuana causes no harm to children, that it decreases domestic violence, and that the Canadian Cancer Society supports big pharma.
On the phone, however, Davies went further than she had on social media. She said there is no harm at all for children to be in a home where parents smoke pot and she quoted a study that suggested mothers could smoke it during pregnancy without risk.
“The children of the mothers who used it during pregnancy had higher IQs and were better socially established than the children whose mothers didn’t,” she said.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau reinforced the party’s position to reporters Thursday morning.
“The Liberal party took the position we have to control and regulate marijuana primarily for one reason: Mr. Harper’s current approach is not protecting our children,” he said in Vancouver.
“Not only is it easier for young people to buy a joint than it is for them to buy cigarettes or alcohol, we are actually continuing to fund criminal organizations, street gangs and gun runners with the continued black market around marijuana.
“The position of the Liberal party is clear — we need to control and regulate marijuana in order to protect our kids. The views expressed by the individual in question do not reflect the views of the Liberal party of Canada and certainly do not reflect my personal views.”