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German MP Michael Hartmann admits taking crystal meth, says it makes him "work better"

Bustle, July 13, 2014

Well, here’s one I haven’t heard before (at least, not from someone currently in politics): this week, a leading German politician admitted to taking crystal meth, saying he only did it because it helped him “work better.” But he’s not addicted, or anything. The politician is a member of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SDP), and he’s currently refusing to resign (sound familiar, Torontonians?).

The 51-year-old interior policy expert for the SDP admitted to taking the drug for “about a month” in autumn of 2013. Of course, the admission comes only after police saw him buying drugs and so raided his Berlin apartment last week — according to the German Bild newspaper, Hartmann allegedly picked up a cool 100 grams of crystal meth. You know, just for funsies (or work, as it happens).

Though the cops didn’t find any illegal substances in the raid, and he wasn’t charged with any offenses, the revelations caused quite a stir in Germany — not in small part because of his previously harsh anti-drug attitude. “Cannabis is not a harmless drug,” Hartmann said, back in 2012. (Clearly, he had not discovered the “benefits” of ice, yet.)

According to his lawyer, Hartmann was never addicted to crystal meth, and only took it because it made him work harder and be “more efficient” at work. Although he’s refusing to resign as a member of the German parliament, he will allegedly be stepping down from his position as parliamentary spokesman for internal affairs.

Over here across the ocean, we are not unfamiliar with the politician-who-has-a-drug-problem-but-won’t-leave-politics. Not only do we have the now-infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford — who has smoked crack, denied he’d smoked crack, smoked crack again, been to rehab, admitted he’d smoked crack and been back in office, all in the space of the last year alone — we’ve also got Trey Radel. Last November, the 37-year-old Florida Congressman was forced to take a leave of absence and undergo substance abuse treatment after being caught and charged with possessing cocaine.

Back in 1995, Washington DC’s mayor was re-elected after being caught smoking crack in an FBI sting. It’s no wonder that a HuffPo/YouGov found that 78 percent of U.S. citizens would be in favor of random drug testing for members of Congress.