Middle East: Dubai Court Sentences Woman to Life for Selling a Joint

A court in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, has sentenced a young woman to life in prison for selling a joint to an undercover officer and possessing 16 more weighing a total of 19 grams. According to the UAE news site 7 Days, the unnamed Tanzanian citizen in her 20s was caught after police received a tip she was running a "drug den" in the Diera area of Dubai.

An Emirati police officer told the Dubai Court of First Instance that they had been tipped in December that the woman was selling drugs from her apartment. "Our sources informed us that she used her flat in Deira area of Dubai as a drugs den and she was trading with customers there," the Emirati officer said. "We sent an undercover policeman to her flat and he bought a cigarette for dhs30. She was possessing many cigarettes full with marijuana and she confessed to us that she used to sell them for dhs30 each."

That converts to about $8.10. At the same per joint rate, the young woman's entire stash would be worth less than $130.

The woman also tested positive for unspecified drugs. That alone is enough to get you imprisoned in the UAE, which has snared not only its own citizens but also unwary travelers passing through Dubai International Airport, who with depressing regularity receive four-year prison sentences for a positive drug test or possession of even the tiniest detectable traces of drugs.

The young woman had denied all charges. Her lawyer has vowed to appeal, but barring a successful appeal or pardon, she would not be eligible to be released and deported for at least 25 years.

Dubai court officials were fine with that. "The law orders us to sentence anyone trading with any amount of drugs to life in jail. Even if the amount is a few grams, it's still trading," one told 7 News. "This verdict is sending out a clear message to anyone trading with drugs that this business can ruin your life."

Or, more accurately, the Dubai courts can.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Duh....

Yes, the penalty is harsh, but anyone with 2 brain cells should know not to traffic in drugs in UAE. Putting oneself at risk like she apparently did, is idiotic.

Dubai confusion

Michael Jackson moved to Dabai after Neverland was raided by cops. Jacko was on opiates then. What better place to go to for opiates than the middle east? Wacko was treated as royalty i`m sure. Surely the Dubai system of law is fair and equal to all?

duh?

to me, its that people do things like this for the same reason we have such an influx of mexican&latino immigrants to the united states---people are driven to pretty desperate acts in order to acquire money. from one perspective, systemic forces cause individual choices. and the reason mexicans up and leave their homeland of generations to come work a shitty minnesota job for a shitty wage, is the same FINANCIAL NEED that might cause an african immigrant to sell some joints in the united arab emirates. I don't blame them for any violations of arbitrary laws around possessing plants or crossing imaginary lines, i blame the system for creating such gross inequality--and those of us in the privileged minority of the world bear a moral responsibility for these things.

weak

Im sure that would have happened to those rich douchbags that live there.

PARITY?

I'm sure cigarettes are legal in Dubai.... would anyone be locked up for those? which is worse?

you should be able to do what you want to your own body.

I read recently that one of these middle eastern 'princes' is banned from equestrian for a year because his horse tested positive for steroids. I bet that horse didn't want the drugs.

you need well educated people and a strong vibrant media for a revolution... the brass makes sure we don't have those.

it seems the only way to change the world is with a gun or a bomb.

f*ck!

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