Reuters reports that the offhand comment came after a business lunch, when the 44-year-old politician was asked if he’d ever used the drug. Under Canadian law, marijuana use is only permitted in therapeutic contexts, and is prescribed against arthritis, sclerosis, and other types of chronic pain. Although he suffers from none of these, Ford admitted to being no stranger to the drug.
"Oh yeah, I won't deny that. I've smoked a lot of it," he said with a laugh.
Ford’s comment makes him the third Canadian politician to admit to using marijuana in less than a week. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, said on Wednesday that she had smoked it infrequently before entering politics. Similarly, Justin Trudeau, federal Liberty Party leader, told reporters that he’d used the drug about five or six times in his life – most recently three years ago, after his election to Parliament.
Rob Ford made headlines earlier this summer, when rumors of a video of him smoking crack-cocaine began to circulate. Gawker eventually launched a widely publicized fundraising campaign to purchase the video from the owners, who reportedly wanted $200,000 for the clip. The purported video evidence notwithstanding, Ford repeatedly dismissed the allegations, calling the fundraising team “a bunch of maggots.”
"Number one: there's no video, so that's all I can say. You can't comment on something that doesn't exist," he fired back after reporters from The Guardian asked him for a comment. "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine."
Despite this year’s incidents, Ford continues to enjoy staunch public support, especially from the suburban constituency that raised him to power in 2010. For this reason, he has shrugged off numerous calls for his resignation, and will be running for re-election next year.
He told reporters, “I'll be the first putting my name on that ballot.”