Image via WikipediaDubai isn't the best place in the world to be a DJ, it would seem. Following from the controversial four years in the chokey handed out to British drum 'n' bass DJ Grooverider, who served ten months of the sentence before a handy Ramadan pardon slipped him a Get Out Of Jail Free card, news breaks today in the papers of a DJ who has been arrested and charged with drugs offences.
Grooverider, or Raymond Bingham to his mum, was carrying just over a gram of hash in a clear plastic bag - very airport security conscious of him - which he says he forgot was there. I can sympathise with that - when Abu Dhabi police are lifting Afghans with over 15 kilos of smack in fruit crates, you can sort of see that a gram of hash is hardly the road to nailing Mr Big. At least it wasn't a microgram or two stuck in his shoe.
However, Grooverider did have the banned drug on him. This new case sees a man charged for having the drug in him - the DJ, identified as custom would have it as merely "AM", was according to Gulf News and others, the subject of a raid following a tip-off. The papers report that Dubai's anti-narcotics unit searched his car and then his house and found not a jot of naughty stuff. So they gave him a blood test and found THC in his bloodstream. THC is the stuff that makes smoking hash fun (The used engine oil they cut it with is some of the stuff that makes it less fun, but that's another story).
Gulf News reports the man as saying, "I am not guilty. I want a judgment," which is a slightly odd thing to say in a court of law. It's the one thing you can be sure of, really.
His defence is that he smoked while in the UK at Christmas. THC is known to stay in the system for days, possibly weeks after it is consumed - most online references give 30-45 days, although some claim three months. The amount of body fat you're toting has an effect here, as THC likes to snuggle up to fat and stay there. There is also the question of the sensitivity and type of the test - the most common test is a urine test, but hair can also be tested for THC and it's in there until the hair grows out. The 'half life' of THC is an interesting fact for many because an increasing number of companies (particularly US corporates) insist on being given the contractual right to carry out random drug testing among staff.
Wherever this case goes, you can guarantee it's going to go in the UK press, where it's not going to play terribly well, I suspect. The message has always been utterly clear here - don't do drugs and if you do we'll be tough on you.