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March 25, 2017|
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: Import of marijuana inside the UAE may be subject to Article 6 of the Federal Law No. 14/1995 on the Control of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (UAE Narcotics Law), which prohibits the import, among other activities such as use, manufacture, export and other related activities, of substances listed under schedule nos. 1,2, 4, and 5. Schedule no. 4 of the UAE Narcotics Law prohibits such substances locally known as cannabis, marijuana or bango.
Article 39 of the aforesaid Law sanctions a person convicted for using marijuana, among other substances, listed under schedule nos. 1,2, 4, and 5 with imprisonment for a period of two years at least and a fine amounting to ten thousand Dirhams at least. Since your brother entered inside the UAE with marijuana and the quantity of this substance on your brother was significant, he may be subject to the offence of importing the substance inside the UAE for trading purposes instead of personal use alone. Article 36 of the Law prohibits the import, export and use of plants under schedule no. 4 / Section 2. Marijuana is listed under Section 2 of the Schedule no. 4 and as such its import is prohibited and sanctioned under Article 48 of the Law with imprisonment for a period of ten year at least and 15 years at most, and by a fine amounting to 50,000/- Dirhams at least and 200,000/- Dirhams at most. Moreover, if the aforesaid crime is for the purpose of trafficking or promotion then such crime shall be punishable by death penalty.
The court may commute the sentence to life imprisonment or reduce it partially based on the merits of each case. However, it is important to note that Article 63 of the Law provides mandatory deportation for an expatriate resident convicted for any offence under the UAE Narcotics Law.
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