Newly elected politician Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has quit cannabis – but insists it has nothing to do with pressure from police.
Flanagan, elected as an independent member of the Irish parliament, announced his decision to stop smoking marijuana in Ireland live on national radio.
The long time campaigner for the legalization of cannabis claims his move has nothing to do with a complaint lodged with police by a Kilkenny councilor.
Fianna Fail councilor John Coonan carried out his threat to report Flanagan’s drug habit to police and lodged a formal complaint at his local Kilkenny station on Tuesday.
Less than 24 hours late, Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Flanagan announced that he is to quit smoking cannabis while in Ireland.
But Flanagan denies he has had any approach from police since Coonan lodged his protest.
“If they’re going to investigate me, they’d have to investigate other politicians like Brian Cowen, Leo Varadkar and Eoin Ryan who admitted smoking cannabis in the past,” Flanagan told the Irish Independent.
The newly elected Independent has admitted smoking and growing marijuana in the past but says he is giving it up now for the sake of his family.
“The reason why I have smoked cannabis is basically because I enjoy smoking it and it isn’t to try and attract attention,” added Flanagan who does intend to smoke when he goes to the likes of Holland and Portugal.
“At this stage, it has become inevitable, in order to protect my wife and my two children, that I no longer smoke cannabis in the Republic of Ireland.
“Because if I continue to do it, it is inevitable that they will have to arrest me, come to my house, search my house and basically turn my family’s life upside down.
“I could end up getting a six-month prison sentence, which would bar me from sitting in the Dail.
“Eventually I will get taken out of Dail Eireann and people who want cannabis legalized wouldn’t have a voice in Dail Eireann.”