New Drugs Minister admits getting high once
NEW Minister for Drugs Aodhán O Ríordáin has admitted he once took drugs in Amsterdam, where certain substances are legal.
He did not specify what drugs he took, but Mr O Ríordáin insisted he did not break the law.
"Once on a trip to Amsterdam as a young student, but I am not a smoker and I have never taken any illegal drugs. I have seen the effects of drugs in my teaching life and in my community activism and as a public representative," he said.
"When you see what drugs do - they have stolen generations and you see the effects it has on children. It passes on huge problems, which they have for the rest of their lives," he added.
"My own personal decision - and what I have done in my own private life in not ever taking any illegal drugs - is fuelled by my experiences," he said.
"I didn't break the law. I was a student, I was in Amsterdam, it was the weekend. I am not a smoker. I did what most students do," he added.
Mr Ó Ríordáin, who was appointed by Tánaiste Joan Burton yesterday, is now a junior minister in three departments - Justice, Health and Arts.
"One of the biggest problems we have is middle-class drug users who are funding drug gangs," he said. "It is a quite a complex problem and not an easy one to solve," he added.