A member of the Irish parliament has compared himself to Bill Clinton as he called for the legalization of drugs – after admitting to taking cocaine, ecstasy and acid.
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan admitted his hard drug use in an interview with the Irish Mail on Sunday and on radio.
He then told Monday’s edition of the Irish Sun that he believes other members of the Dublin parliament are also using drugs.
Flanagan insisted: “I’m not the only one who has tried drugs.”
He then claimed that ‘it is not credible’ that his fellow deputies have never experimented with narcotics.
The Independent deputy then challenged his colleagues and rivals in Leinster House to take a lie-detector test in a nearby hotel to prove they have never used drugs.
He said: “It would not be plausible to suggest that no one in the Dail (parliament) would have taken illegal drugs in the past.
“As for drugs, the Dail bar is full of people taking one of the most harmful drugs to the human body.
“Suggestion. Set up a lie detector in Buswells Hotel and ask TDs (deputies) to come over and answer the question I did about drugs. I will be first there.”
Flanagan’s latest comments come after his admission that he had tried Class A narcotics in the past.
The Roscommon/South Leitrim representative revealed that he had used cocaine, ecstasy and acid.
He even compared himself to deceased British politician Mo Mowlam, entrepreneur Richard Branson and former US president Bill Clinton in his calls for the decriminalization of drugs.
Flanagan said changing Ireland’s laws will reduce drug use and free up police time.
He told Irish state radio RTE: “If people think I’m radical, so be it.
“The reality is, it isn’t that I’m radical at all, it’s that I live in a conservative country.”
Deputy Flanagan, who has openly admitted to smoking cannabis in the past, is adamant that no longer uses illegal drugs in Ireland.
He said: “I’m quite aware that drugs are illegal.”
Asked about his own drugs usage, Flanagan said: “I didn’t like my experience when I tried cocaine on about two or maybe three occasions.
“Not very often. I never really liked it. Never saw what it was about.
“I found acid disconcerting. Acid, magic mushrooms and psychedelic drugs are drugs that people underestimate at their peril.
“I would say to people, ‘Steer clear of it’. But if someone doesn’t, how does giving someone a criminal record help them?
“And if someone decides to do it and they give the money to the type of scumbags that shot Veronica Guerin, how the hell does that help anyone?
Harm reduction and pragmatism is the way forward on this issue, not prohibition.”