To borrow from a popular phrase: What’s smoked in Vegas should stay in Vegas.
Unfortunately, a Las Vegas man did not heed that suggestion and, after he allegedly smoked or ingested marijuana in Las Vegas, he flew to Dubai and is facing prison time.
Peter Clark, a 51-year-old, did not have any Sin City luck as he came down with a nasty attack of pancreatitis in the United Arab Emirates city. His visit to doctors resulted in traces of hashish discovered via urine test.
That’s considered possession in the UAE, and Clark is looking at up to three years in prison, according to Detained in Dubai, a website published by his attorney.
Clark flew to Dubai Feb. 24. He was arrested on March 3 and spent three days in a cell before being allowed back to his hotel.
Clark said he didn’t bring drugs to Dubai, or use alcohol or buy drugs while there. As of this weekend, Clark was still in Dubai waiting for his plea to be heard by authorities.
In a statement, Clark said: “I was absolutely stunned to learn that I was being charged for having residue marijuana in my system. I smoked it legally back home, long before I ever even got on the plane. I knew about the country’s strict drug laws, but never for a moment did I consider that I could be thrown in prison over something I did in America.”
Clark’s attorney, Radha Stirling called on the U.S. to “revise travel warnings to Americans who could end up arbitrarily detained,” and added, “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.”