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A man who legally enjoyed some cannabis in his home of Las Vegas is now facing three years in prison in the United Arab Emirates after being caught with traces of it in his urine, according to his attorney’s website Detained in Dubai.
Peter Clark, 51, flew to Dubai on Feb. 24 on a business trip looking for a recording studio. The retired game designer then went to a hospital following a pancreatitis attack. He was reported to authorites when doctors found hashish traces in his urine, which is considered possesion in the UAE.
Clark was arrested on March 3 despite cannabis being legal in Nevada where he consumed it, kept in a “flea-ridden cell,” and has been waiting in his hotel since getting out of jail.
“Lost a ton of weight, no shower, no food, nothing to drink since I got here, no sleep,” he said in a video after getting out. Clark adds that he did not bring drugs to Dubai, nor purchased or consumed them there.
“I was absolutely stunned to learn that I was being charged due to residual marijuana in my system,” he told the Daily Mail. “I smoked it legally back in America long before I even got on the plane. I knew about Dubai’s strict drugs laws but never for one moment did I think something I legally did in my own country would lead to my arrest.”
“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,” Clark’s attorney Radha Stirlin wrote. “Even if found innocent, he can be dragged through a slow and costly legal process.”
Similarly, British army veteran Andy Neal was arrested and accused of handling drugs in Dubai, before being released in 2019 after spending over a year in jail, despite denying the allegations.