Liberal candidate steps down after pro-marijuana Facebook posts

— Facebook posts about marijuana and cancer have cost the Liberals a -area candidate, who resigned hours after distanced himself from her.

In a post Thursday, Joy Davies said she had decided after much consideration to step down, but she made no apologies for her past comments.

Her previous posts included a link to an academic paper suggesting marijuana decreases domestic violence, and comments that the Canadian Cancer Society supports the pharmaceutical industry by refusing to study the benefits of marijuana as a cancer therapy.

She had also posted statements that marijuana can cure skin cancer and that pharmaceutical companies are allegedly colluding to hide a cancer cure from Canadians.

“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,” Davies said Thursday on Facebook.

Hours earlier, Trudeau had said her comments did not reflect the party’s views on marijuana use or his.

Davies was running for the Liberals in South Surrey_White Rock _ a riding some observers and pollsters believe the Liberals could steal back from the Tories Oct. 19. The party said it would look for a replacement candidate.

The resignation overshadowed two campaign announcements Trudeau made in B.C. and focused attention on the party’s stance on legalizing marijuana to control its distribution. Trudeau had earlier in the day promised money for transit projects in Vancouver and later pledged to protect ’s oceans.

A hallmark of that promise was to put a moratorium on oil-tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia, effectively killing any pipeline projects through the area, including the Northern Gateway.

The Liberal pledge would make Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound off limits to tanker traffic as part of the party’s push to protect ecologically sensitive areas. The promise would also make official a non-binding motion the House of Commons passed in 2010.

The promises put the Liberals at odds with the Conservatives, who favour a pipeline to the West Coast so Alberta oil can get to Asia-Pacific markets.

Trudeau repeated his opposition to such a pipeline and threw his support again behind Keystone XL, which would carry Alberta oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast. He didn’t express an opinion on the Energy East pipeline project that would carry oil to the East Coast.

The Liberal leader also pledged to reinstate $40 million in cuts from the ocean science and monitoring program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and expand protected marine and coastal areas. He argued the Conservatives had only protected about 1.3 per cent of Canadian ocean waters and said his plan would see that percentage rise to five per cent by 2017 and to 10 per cent by 2020.

After the oceans announcement, Trudeau told reporters he had accepted an apology from Alberta candidate Christopher Brown for offensive tweets he posted six years ago.

Brown, who is running in Peace River-Westlock, said in a written apology he had become an alcoholic in 2009 after his partner died in a car crash involving a drunk driver.

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