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  • Daily Mail

Daily Mail covers Gulf in Justice interview with Peter Clark

Businessman, 51, facing two years in Dubai jail after traces of marijuana he had legally smoked in Las Vegas were found in his system is freed after prosecutors decide to drop the case.

  • Peter Clark, 51, was deported after prosecutors dropped all charges against him

  • He had legally smoked marijuana in Las Vegas before a February 24 trip to Dubai

  • Once in Dubai, Clark developed pancreatitis and was taken to hospital, doctors then ran blood tests, discovering traces of marijuana, and reported him to police

  • Clark was then arrested by police and placed on a no-fly list pending charges

A businessman who legally smoked marijuana before flying to Dubai and being arrested on a drugs charge has been freed.

Peter Clark, 51, was deported after prosecutors decided against filing any charges over traces of marijuana that showed up in his system.

The 51-year-old had legally smoked marijuana at his home in Las Vegas before flying to the United Arab Emirates to explore business opportunities.

After being arrested he was banned from leaving Dubai despite protesting his innocence that he had not violated the country's strict drugs laws.

Police escorted Clark to Dubai international airport on Tuesday where he was put on an overnight flight to New York City.

He said the enforced two month stay in Dubai has cost him $50,000 as well as his relationship with his girlfriend.

Before leaving he said: 'I just don't know why anyone would want to come here. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. You can get arrested for anything.'

Clark had faced up to two years in jail if convicted of the drugs charge.

His nightmare began on February 25 the day after arriving in Dubai having flown from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.

He was rushed to hospital suffering from pancreatitis where doctors took a urine sample.

Traces of marijuana showed up in his system and he said a soldier was stationed at his bedside.

He was held in a detention centre for 72 hours before being allowed to return to his hotel. His passport was taken away and he was told he could not leave until prosecutors had decided if he should be charged.

Speaking about his ordeal on a Gulf in Justice podcast he said he readily agreed to a urine test as he thought it was part of the hospital treatment.

He said: 'Next morning at 6.30am two armed police officers came in and said they were escorting me back to my hotel. But I was taken to a police station, and I was told to wait in a room.

'At 5pm they took me, and that's when I thought this is not the exit. I knew something was wrong.'

Clark said he was put in a detention cell for hours before being woken in the early hours of the morning and handcuffed.

He was taken to building where he found out for the first time he was being held on a drugs charge after other prisoners said he was in a drugs unit.

Paperwork that had been handed to him detailing the charge was written in Arabic and he was not given access to a translator.

After being released from jail said he was repeatedly summoned to the police station having been told he was being deported.

After taking a Covid test he was disappointed to learn no flight home had been approved.

Apart from spending thousands on his hotel stay and legal fees he said his girlfriend had left him and pet birds at his apartment had died due to his enforced stay in Dubai.

Clark was represented by the pressure group Detained in Dubai who help visitors who fall foul of the country's legal system.

Founder Radha 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 travelling to Dubai.

'Peter was a responsible traveller. 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.

'Peter did nothing wrong. 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.'


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