Man faces years in Dubai prison after smoking marijuana legally in Las Vegas

Harriet Brewis
Sunday 11 April 2021 09:16
news

An US man faces years behind bars in Dubai after traces of marijuana were found in his urine during a visit to the UAE.

The thing is, he didn’t even smoke cannabis in the country – where it is illegal – he did it while he was back at home in Las Vegas where it’s perfectly above board.

Peter Clark, 51, flew to Dubai on February 24 where he was due to spend a few days checking out professional recording studios, according to Detained in Dubai – a website founded by his lawyer Radha Stirling.

However, he suddenly suffered an attack of pancreatitis and was admitted for emergency treatment at a hospital in the city.

There, doctors found traces of hashish in his urine – which is considered possession in the UAE.

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Staff reported Clark to the police and he was arrested on March 3.

He spent three days in a “flea-ridden cell” and was denied medication he’d been prescribed by doctors, which meant a vein in his left elbow became infected, according to the site.

He was finally released back to his hotel on March 6 and ordered to return to his hotel to await contact from the police.

More than a month, he is still waiting to learn his fate, with the prospect of spending three years in prison.

In a video recording of his ordeal, the 51-year-old said: “I lost a ton of weight, no shower, no food, nothing to drink since I got here, no sleep.”

In a statement, his attorney Stirling said: “The UAE’s arbitrary enforcement of laws and lack of predictable legal outcomes means that Peter potentially faces years in prison for legally smoking marijuana.

“Even if found innocent, he can be dragged through a slow and costly legal process.”

She continued: “The UAE should not be prosecuting visitors for acts committed outside their country. Peter has committed no genuine crime within Dubai. It is clear that the UAE must alter the technical wording of their drug laws to ensure foreigners are not unnecessarily persecuted.”

Clark insists he brought no drugs to Dubai, nor consumed or bought any while he was there.

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