x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

UAE legal Q&As: What is the punishment for being caught having taken 'Morning Glory'?

Two readers ask what the punishment is for someone accused of taking drugs in the UAE under two different circumstances

My fiancée was returning to the UAE through Dubai International Airport when immigration officers stopped him. They suspected he had been taking drugs and asked him to take a medical test. The results showed that he had traces of Morning Glory - the seeds of a plant that has psychedelic side effects - in his system and they accused him of taking it to get high. What happens next? He has no history of drug abuse - will this be considered by authorities when deciding on a sentence?

Given that the UAE Law is mainly based on Islamic ideas indicated in Sharia Law, which evaluates possession of narcotics and psychotropic drugs in any form or amount as illegal activity, the consumption of the mentioned Morning Glory is considered as violation of the UAE Law. As per the article No. 39 of the UAE Federal Law No. 14 of 1995 for Anti-Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances possession, personal use or distribution of any drugs other than the ones provided with duly issued medical prescription, is punishable with a two-year jail sentence. For the consumption of Morning Glory, the jail sentence shall be not more than 6 months.

The court has discretionary power to consider the imposition of a fine in the amount not less than Dh 2,000 in addition to the jail sentence. Article No. 63 of the same Federal Law No. 14 of 1995 advises that the deportation cannot be avoided; as it shall be implemented once the sentence is fully served.

You may wish to consult a criminal lawyer to ensure your fiancée diligently represented.

One of my university friends was arrested in Sharjah after testing positive for drugs. The test result showed that my friend had consumed amphetamines not long ago before the test sample was taken. Unfortunately, I do not know of any more details but I would like to know what the possible sentence and verdict could be for my friend.

Article No. 40 of the UAE Federal Law No. 14 of 1995 for Anti-Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Law states that a jail sentence between six months to two years may be imposed for the possession of drugs for personal use, unless it has been medically prescribed. Within the same article the court has given discretionary power to decide if the fine - not less than Dh10,000 - shall be imposed too. Amphetamines can be considered as habit-forming drugs, which will also be considered in court.

Article No. 63 of the Federal Law No. 14 of 1995 says that foreigners will be deported from the UAE in cases of drug use.

If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to media@professionallawyer.me with the subject line “Know the law”.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.