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March 25, 2017


UAE Legal Q&A: What are the Penalties for Carrying and Possessing Marijuana in the UAE?

Question: My brother is a foreigner who has been arrested in the UAE for carrying a significant amount of marijuana into the country. What should I anticipate as punishment for his offence?

Answer: Marijuana possession is illegal under UAE Law No 14 of 1995 and its amendments. The Anti-Narcotic Psychotropic Substances Law states that it should not be "brought, imported, exported, made, extracted, separated, produced, possessed or taken, and all other activities and connections thereof may not be performed". If, as you say, the amount of the drug is significant, it can be surmised that it is not for personal use but for selling, and this means that the punishment is greater. Article No 46 of the Anti-Narcotic Psychotropic Substances Law says that "the penalty of imprisonment for a period of not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years and a fine of not less than Dh20,000 shall be imposed on any person who has managed, prepared or set up a place for the abuse of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances". On top of this, it is very likely that his sentence will include deportation as well.

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