SWIS is surprised none of the Irish membership had posted this story yet. Now SWIS knows it is a nothing of a story in some respects, but it is VERY illuminating in others. SWIS finds it ludicrous in the extreme to see Irish ministers laughing and joking about cannabis use and generally making light of the whole matter when their actual policies show absolutely no reflection of how they obviously feel on the matter. Willie 'the weasel' O'Dea seems to be suffering from short term memory loss when he says he has never tried it as he has previously stated to reporters that he did. Yet another case of Dail double standards. This from Ireland.com:
[h3]Taoiseach chilled out over Cowen joints[/h3]From ireland.com 14:53Thursday, 17th May, 2007
The Taoiseach today declared that Minister for Finance Brian Cowen's admission that he smoked cannabis while a student was "no big deal".
Speaking to reporters in north inner city Dublin, Mr Ahern said: "I think as always Brian's been straight and honest that he did it.
"I've no big deal about it. I suppose a lot of people try it in school or in college," said Mr Ahern. He said he never tried the drug himself but that he had had plenty of pints.
Speaking during an interview in Hot Press magazine published today, Mr Cowen was quoted as saying: "Anybody who went to the UCD bar in the seventies and didn't get a whiff of marijuana would be telling you a lie.
"I would say there were a couple of occasions when it was passed around and, unlike President Clinton, I did inhale," he added.
When asked today, Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea and Minister of State at the Department of Health Brian Lenihan said they never tried cannabis. The two ministers were unveiling the party's policy on crime and justice in Dublin.
Senator Cyprian Brady, the party's spokesman in the Seanad on Fianna Fáil's drugs strategy, was first asked was he "dismayed" to read that the deputy party leader and Minister for Finance Brian Cowen had "not only sampled, but inhaled cannabis".
"No, I certainly wasn't. I mean, let's face it, when people are young and they're teenagers, you know, every kid will experiment at some stage. That's the nature of being a teenager."
Both Mr O'Dea and Mr Lenihan were asked had they ever tried cannabis.
Mr O'Dea said: "No, I didn't actually."
Mr Lenihan said: "No, I was a very serious young man. I was a scholar at Trinity College and a head boy at Belvedere College in my day, so I wasn't that type. But I saw plenty of it going on."
It was put to Senator Brady that Mr Cowen's action "doesn't send out a great example". He replied: "People take their own things from these things, and to be quite honest with you, you know, it's not a matter of setting an example. What we can do is we can show what we can do to continue the work that has been done, particularly under the drugs strategy, to prevent kids becoming addicted to drugs."