The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday announced relaxation of penalties for travelers who arrive in the country with products containing THC, the main intoxicating chemical in cannabis.
The new law, published in the UAE’s official gazette, says people caught carrying food, drinks and other items with cannabis into the country will no longer land in prison if it’s their first offense. Instead, authorities will confiscate and destroy the products.
This comes as the country strictly prohibits the sale and trafficking of drugs, with drug use punishable by four years in jail.
However, the new law marks a noteworthy change for one of the world’s most restrictive nations when it comes to importing common drugs for personal use.
Moreover, foreign drug users who are caught are typically deported to their home countries after imprisonment, but the new law leaves that decision up to the judge.
The easing of some penalties come as for decades, the nation’s penal code, based on Islamic law, or Shariah, has landed the tourists behind bars for offensives that few Westerns consider it as crime.
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