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A new independent TD has argued that prostitution in Ireland should be legalized. He says it will benefit the welfare of the women working in the sex industry if the trade was not forced underground.

Wexford TD Mick Wallace discussed his views in an interview in this week's Hotpress magazine. He explained that there will always be a demand for the service of prostitutes and the demand could be regulated in some manner if it was legalized.

Speaking on RTE Radio One with John Murray Wallace said "There’s been prostitution on the planet since time began – and it’ll always be here…If you think, it’s a better scenario [than] where the girls work in very poor conditions, get very badly treated, and live in fear of the pimps that control them all the time.

“Plus, clients decide to use prostitutes that aren’t always in as healthy a state as they should be, because there’s no health controls on it… It doesn’t actually make sense to have it illegal…It’s going to exist anyway, [we should] get used to it… I think the girls would be exploited less through a legal system than through an illegal system."

Wallace also declared support for his fellow independent TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan'. Ming was forced to quit smoking cannabis this week for fear that he would be arrested and would be unable to support his family.

Wallace said that cannabis being imported into Ireland is often sprayed with plastic to increase its weight. He gave this as an example of how unregulated drug imports were a health risk. He suggested if cannabis was legalized in Ireland the Revenue Commissioners could levy its sale and put the fund towards drug prevention programs.

He said "I’m not saying for a second that abuse of cannabis isn’t going to cause problems – [but] abuse of anything is going to cause problems.” He also insisted that although he has tried the drug he does not smoke it now. He said "I like a pint of Guinness and some nice red wine, that does me fine."