x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

'Hashish is good for epilepsy', court told

Man says he inhaled smoke from a friend's cigarette because it helped his epileptic spasms.

ABU DHABI // A Saudi man yesterday denied smoking hashish, telling the court he only inhaled the smoke from a friend's cigarette because it was good for his epileptic spasms.

AD also denied drinking wine. When the judge told him alcohol had been found in his urine sample, he said he drank beer. He also said: "I drank barley water," adding, once more: "It is good for my epilepsy."

AD said the hashish consumption occurred in Saudi Arabia, four days before he arrived in Abu Dhabi.

"But the laws in Saudi are even stricter than here," Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer, head of the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance, told him.

AD at first denied the charge that he consumed the drug, but when questioned said he had inhaled the secondhand smoke.

He said: "I was riding with my friend in the car and he closed the window and I inhaled while he smoked because it is good for me. I have epilepsy."

He was arrested in Abu Dhabi after a traffic accident.

AD denied five of the charges, which included drug and alcohol consumption, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, driving without a licence, driving against traffic, and not driving carefully.

He confessed to destroying another person's vehicle.