Monday, 14 June 2010

Dope Test Does For Dubai DJ

Marijuana plant.Image via Wikipedia
Dubai 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.

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Lee said...

It seems to me that Dubai over the past few years is systematically doing its best to ward off and scare tourists from coming on holiday. It really annoys me that after so much investment to build a new economy, so many great ads building Dubai as a great place to visit, live and work the only message that is currently remembered about Dubai is that it’s a really scary place to visit. Most people only remember snippets of information, usually the sensational stuff, and at the moment it’s all negative. The general view is Dubai is not a great place to visit because of the stories people have heard about the place, and there is no point blaming the press, they hear about how they can get arrested for holding hands with their girlfriends, or god forbid if they kissed in public, a four year old might just get them slung in the slammer for a few months. Well done Dubai you’ve done it again. It takes split second to decide on visiting another more welcoming destination for which there is so much choice around the world. People want to go on holiday to relax, see new cultures and enjoy their precious time off. Not have to read the entire law system to make sure that the slightest discrepancy and they’re arrested and thrown in prison. Is it me or has Dubai got worse recently? Has the country changed its mind about all the expats and tourists? I’m not saying I agree with people doing drugs and certainly Dubai has every right to stop drugs entering the country. But there used to be a sense of pragmatism as to where the law really applies and building balanced tolerant Muslim society. We say come to Dubai have a great time, and then ruin people’s lives, maybe they’re not that innocent, but they are certainly not criminals who deserve their lives to be practically ruined with months in jail awaiting a court case, probably losing their jobs back home, never mind the emotional scars spending time in prison will develop, as you wait to hear whether you might spend the rest of your life in prison.

Doug said...

The other side of it is that it's Ramadan again soon. I imagine a quick trial, four years slapped on the DJ, and then they'll 'pardoned' and deported in a few weeks.

Net result is:

a)local populace gets a reminder who's boss

b)Dubai gets out its message of 'no drugs' to the rest of the world and generally discourages the Costa del Sol crowd from holidaying there. Your average Russki in a velour tracksuit will still spuff money on overpriced crap at Mall of the Emirates.

c)Dubai proves to Abu Dhabi that it's not some druggie shagtastic haven as per the assumed conditions of its bailout.

d)Sheikh Mo gets to look like a great humanitarian by granting clemency.

In other words, the only one who loses out is the DJ.

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