LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man who reportedly consumed marijuana before visiting the United Arab Emirates and who was then detained for nearly two months has been released and was due back in the United States on Wednesday, his lawyer told the I-Team.
Peter Clark, 51, flew to Dubai in late February on a business trip, his lawyer, Radha Stirling said. Clark became ill with pancreatitis and was hospitalized. After a urine test found traces of marijuana in his system, Clark was detained and put in jail, Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, said.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in Nevada, but not in the UAE. Even so, Clark faced a prison sentence of several years, Stirling said.
“It’s outrageous that Peter was held in Dubai for almost two months on charges pertaining to cannabis he had smoked legally in Las Vegas before traveling to Dubai,” Stirling said. “Peter was a responsible traveler. He made sure he left any pharmaceuticals at home, including aspirin, just to be sure he didn’t have any delays or issues at customs. Never did he imagine he could be arrested for cannabis smoked outside of the UAE.”
Clark was also working with federal officials and the American embassy, officials confirmed.
“Peter did nothing wrong,” Stirling said. “He should never have been arrested and treated so badly. As soon as we found out about the case, we appointed legal representatives and contacted US officials and members of the Senate. Fortunately, we were able to resolve Peter’s case and get him home safe.”
“Possession or consumption of marijuana in any form, including detections of trace amounts in the bloodstream, is illegal in the UAE, even if a doctor’s medical card is presented,” the State Department advises. “Persons may be charged and convicted even if the controlled substances were ingested outside of the UAE as long as traces are still present in the bloodstream upon arrival in the UAE.”