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Luke Flanagan: Cannabis worth €1.1bn to our economy

Speaking to Hot Press, pro-cannabis campaigner and Mayor of Roscommon Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan talks drugs, recounts his run-ins with the law , and explains why he’s in with a good chance of winning a seat in the upcoming general election.

In a remarkably open and honest interview in Hot Press, controversial pro-cannabis campaigner and current Mayor of Roscommon Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan claims that the legalisation of cannabis is worth approximately €1.1bn to the Irish economy: “I’ll be very quick to tell them that I estimate it’s worth about €1.1bn that would go in very rapidly to our economy if they legalise it.”

However, while Flanagan is passionate in his support of the recreational use of cannabis, he is less impressed with other drugs. “I’ve tried cocaine and I’ve tried ecstasy and I’ve tried acid and I don’t really like them, they just don’t suit me. I like to be in control and there are two drugs that I feel I can control – cannabis and alcohol. They’re my recreational drugs of choice.”

Recounting his run-ins with the law, Luke tells Hot Press: “I was, I estimate, searched between 16 and 20 times in an 18 months period. I was strip searched on six occasions… “

On his reaction to the current economic crisis he is optimistic about Ireland’s prospects. “When your back is to the wall you have two choices: you lay down and die or you come out fighting,” he says. “I think we can come out fighting and I think we can win.”

Read this fascinating interview in full in the new issue of Hot Press, (Brian O’Driscoll cover), out now.