Man faces three years in jail in Dubai for legally smoking marijuana in his own country
The US resident faces years in prison despite smoking marijuana in his home country
A man from the US has been arrested in Dubai after traces of marijuana were found in his urine, despite smoking the drug legally in his home country before flying to the UAE.
Peter Clark, of Las Vegas, now faces years in prison after marijuana was detected in his system.
Clark, who flew to Dubai in February this year, was planning to spend a couple of days looking at professional recording studios, it has been revealed.
However, Clark became ill and was admitted to hospital with pancreatitis. Before being discharged, the US citizen was made to take a urine sample to test for drugs, and residue traces of marijuana were detected in his system.
He was then reported to the police by staff at the hospital and officers arrived at the site shortly after to charge Clark.
According to the government's travel advice website, the penalties for the possession of drugs, which includes residual amounts are "severe" under UAE law.
"The Emirati authorities count the presence of drugs in the blood stream as possession," the website reads.
According to Detained in Dubai, Clark was handcuffed and escorted to Al Barsha police station, before being placed in a detention cell with three other men.
Clark was aware of the drug laws in the UAE, and was therefore unaware of the reason for his detention, according to Detained in Dubai.
After continuing to feel unwell, the Las Vegas resident was taken to the Anti-Narcotics unit and placed in a cell with around ten other men who were arrested on suspicion of drug possession, it has been reported.
On 6 March, Clark was released and ordered to return to his hotel, where he was told he would receive contact from the police.
However, over a month on and the US resident is still in Dubai facing years in prison.
The founder of Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling, who is representing Clark, released a statement.
He 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."
He added: "Arresting someone for smoking marijuana in their own country, weeks before they even entered the UAE, is unfairly persecuting tourists who have behaved well within Dubai itself. The US State department needs to revise travel warnings to Americans who could end up arbitrarily detained."