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Ming’s cannabis legislation up in smoke

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Supporters of the legalisation of cannabis gathered outside of Leinster House. Photo by Shauna Irwin

TD and self-confessed cannabis user Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan saw his hopes for legalisation go up in flames after his Cannabis Regulation Bill was rejected 111-8 on November 6.

The bill followed in the same direction as dozens of other legislations introduced by Independents when it failed to gain the support of the Dáil.

“It wouldn’t be the first time we were a bit slow to realise what the public wanted,” the Roscommon TD said before the bill was turned down.

Supporters of the legalisation gathered outside Leinster House on the 6th November, hoping for a different outcome.

One supporter told The Liberty: “People need to look into it before they judge it. Legalising it will bring scumbags off the streets.

“I use it, I’m a regular user and legalising it will assure me of what exactly I’m taking and what’s in it.”

The supporter also mentioned Flanagan’s intentions for standardisation and taxation by saying: “At the end of the day, it will bring money into our country.”

Flanagan insisted that “the penny had dropped” regarding cannabis in a few other countries.

He mentioned a vote on the drug’s legalisation which took place in Portland, Oregon, saying “God forbid you would have the confidence in the general public to make those decisions.”

The TD’s annoyance at certain members of the Dáil became clear when he threatened to expose other members of the Dáil who previously used cannabis.

Health Minister James Reilly said the government had concerns about the negative health impact the drug could have on its users.

The rest of the opposition claimed it would also have a negative impact on the ‘war on drugs’ while Labour TD Michael McNamara said that “the war on drugs cannot be won” as he protested for the drug’s standardisation.

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