Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

I'm not radical, says drugs TD

Luke Ming Flanagan has admitted to taking cocaine, Ecstasy and acid in the past

Controversial TD Luke Ming Flanagan has insisted he is not radical, after admitting he had dabbled with Class A drugs.

The Independent TD also suggested some of his colleagues in the Dail had taken drugs themselves.

"It would be highly unlikely if they hadn't have at some stage," Mr Flanagan said.

Earlier, the left-wing politician for Roscommon/South Leitrim revealed that he had used cocaine, Ecstasy and acid. However, Mr Flanagan, who has openly admitted to smoking cannabis in the past, insisted he no longer uses illegal drugs in Ireland.

"I'm quite aware that drugs are illegal and I wouldn't be campaigning on this issue if I didn't know it in the first place," Mr Flanagan said.

He compared himself to the late Mo Mowlam, entrepreneur Richard Branson and former US president Bill Clinton in his calls for the decriminalisation of drugs.

He said changing the country's drug laws would lead to a reduction in drug use and free up Garda time, allowing the policing of other crimes.

"If people think I'm radical, so be it," Mr Flanagan told RTE radio. "The reality is it isn't that I'm radical at all. It's that I live in a conservative country."

Mr Flanagan, a father of two, has campaigned throughout his whole political career for the legalisation of cannabis.

He announced he would quit the drug in Ireland following his election to the Dail in 2011. The TD said he would still smoke cannabis while abroad.

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