"Man Arrested In Dubai Over Legally Smoking Marijuana Now Freed"
The American man detained in the United Arab Emirates over his use of marijuana prior to entering the country has now been freed, following a two-month ordeal that cost him $50,000.
Peter Clark, from Las Vegas, Nevada, had legally smoked marijuana at home before entering Dubai to look at professional recording studios.
However, while in Dubai the 51-year-old businessman suddenly fell ill with pancreatitis and was admitted for emergency treatment at hospital - where medics took a urine sample to test for drugs.
He was later charged by police and faced years in prison, but has now finally been released and allowed to return to America.
UAE civil and criminal justice specialists Detained in Dubai confirmed Clark was finally 'free' after two months, saying he was deported on Tuesday night on a flight via Doha to New York.
Speaking to Detained in Dubai CEO Radha Stirling via video, Clark told other Americans not to go to Dubai, and to go to Miami instead.
"You can get arrested for so many different things."
Clark also spoke about the ordeal he went through after being admitted to hospital, saying he happily accepted a urine test as he believed it was a routine part of his treatment.
He recalled: "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."
After spending thousands on his hotel stay and legal fees, Clark said his girlfriend ended up leaving him - and his pet birds in Las Vegas had died because he was stuck in Dubai.
In a statement, 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."
Stirling explained that the UAE's extraterritorial laws have landed a number of visitors in trouble, with incidents of people being arrested for having alcohol in their system, even if served by the government's own airline.
People can also be arrested for marijuana consumed legally outside of the country, due to residue trace elements in the bloodstream.
Stirling added: "Peter did nothing wrong. He should never have been arrested and treated so badly."