Ming’s bid to have cannabis regulated goes up in smoke

 Luke 'Ming' Flanagan: Will 'grass' in hypocrisy protest.

Deputy Luke “Ming” Flanagan’s attempt to have cannabis regulated was up in smoke last night after it was soundly beaten by 111-8 votes in the Dáil last night.

The Independent TD had urged a change in the law which would allow people to cultivate up to six cannabis plants at home after production and marketing of the substance was officially regulated.

Earlier he has threatened to “grass” on Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to the guards for smoking pot at university if the Fine Gael TD attacked his bid to decriminalise the drug.

The Roscommon-South Leitrim TD said he would inform on other TDs in a protest at the “hypocrisy” of criminalising cannabis users.

The transport minister appeared to be in the TD’s firing line after he admitted smoking cannabis at university in an interview three years ago: “It will be interesting to see if Leo Varadkar gets involved in the debate.

“Surely, he has got some questions to answer?

“I have a warning for those who believe it is all right to impose a criminal record for using cannabis, while not having one imposed on themselves.

“After this debate, I will contact Garda Síochána to inform it of the past actions of particular deputies.”

Mr Flanagan said: “I ask them to think carefully before criminalising others.

“I look forward to hearing the views of other deputies, especially those who have admitted to using cannabis.”

He told the Dáil: “More than 100,000 people convicted of possession of can-nabis are denied the right to a decent job because their application will be rejected if they fill it out truthfully. This means they cannot become teachers, doctors, or childcare workers.”

He said that under his proposed bill, a cannabis regulation authority would be accountable to Dáil select committees. He then stated: “To whom are John Gilligan or the Love/Hate character, Nidge, responsible? They are certainly not accountable to Dáil select committees.”

A number of pro-legalisation demonstrators smoked cannabis outside Leinster House last night.

Fine Gael TD Joe Carey expressed an open mind on following Portugal’s example of legalising cannabis for limited personal use.


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