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I'll quit dope habit at home vows Ming

INDEPENDENT TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan says that he is not going down for dope-smoking unless Brian Cowen and Leo Varadkar go with him.

The colourful politician today vowed to give up his illicit habit -- in this country.

The Roscommon-South Leitrim TD will continue to fight for cannabis to be legalised in Ireland and will smoke dope when abroad.

Having previously admitted to growing cannabis plants in his Roscommon home, however he is now prepared to ditch the drugs to avoid causing hassle for his family.

But he warned: "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."

At various stage in their careers, the high-profile politicians told Hot Press magazine that they experienced cannabis.

Earlier this week a Fianna Fail councillor, John Coonan from Kilkenny, lodged a formal complaint with gardai about the new TD.

As a result, Deputy Flanagan told Today FM's Last Word that he will now only smoke cannabis when overseas.

"The reason why I have smoked cannabis is basically because I enjoy smoking it and it isn't to try and attract attention," he said.

Deputy Flanagan noted that if he was found in possession of the drug he could end up with a prison sentence and eventually have to leave the Dail.

kdoyle@herald.ie