LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man who reportedly consumed marijuana before visiting the United Arab Emirates has been detained for nearly two months, his lawyer and officials confirmed to the I-Team.
Peter Clark, 51, flew to Dubai in late February for a business trip, his lawyer, Radha Stirling shared. 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 said.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in Nevada, but not in the UAE. Even so, Clark faces a prison sentence of several years, Stirling said.
Clark is now awaiting the next steps from a hotel room. He is working with federal officials and the American embassy, officials confirmed.
“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,” Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, said. “Even if found innocent, he can be dragged through a slow and costly legal process.”
“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.”