Higgins admits he smoked dope -- and yes, he inhaled
Published 13/10/2011 | 05:00
Presidential hopeful Michael D Higgins has admitted he did smoke marijuana -- and yes, he did inhale.
He did so when he was a student in Indiana University in the US during the 1960s, he revealed in response to a question from the Irish Independent.
But Mr Higgins, who recently spoke about his "rock 'n' roll drinking years" said he never took drugs in any other form.
He told the Irish Independent he completely rejected the idea of using drugs to "expand consciousness" -- an idea that was very much in vogue at the time.
"I saw people try LSD but I would have been terrified because of those I saw become dependant on drugs," he said.
When queried on his time as a member of the UCG Fianna Fail university Cumann, he acknowledged he was elected chairman of the Kevin Barry Cumann on the day he joined the party in the spring of 1966.
But he insisted he left Fianna Fail a few months later when he went to the US to study. He also said he was not involved in any electioneering or fundraising for Fianna Fail during the time he spent in the university cumann.
On the question of abortion he said the role of the president "is not to represent personal views," and that the president has no role to play with regard to any proposals to amend the constitution.
However, he did campaign against the 1983 constitutional amendment on abortion because he did not believe it would make any contribution towards dealing with the issue of crisis pregnancies.
He would not be drawn on his personal views on the constitutional wording regarding abortion other than stating "it was agreed by the people of Ireland through referendum".
He insisted this issue was now a matter for the Oireachtas and the president had no role to play as regards drafting legislation in this area.
When he was a member of the Dail he recognised the judgment of the Supreme Court in the X case, and the subsequent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, on the need for relevant legislation.