Drug Policy

John Walters Just Got an Erection


The United Arab Emirates has figured out how to win the drug war:

A father-of-three who was found with a microscopic speck of cannabis stuck to the bottom of one of his shoes has been sentenced to four years in a Dubai prison.

Keith Brown, a council youth development officer, was travelling through the United Arab Emirates on his way back to England when he was stopped as he walked through Dubai's main airport.

A search by customs officials uncovered a speck of cannabis weighing just 0.003g—so small it would be invisible to the naked eye and weighing less than a grain of sugar—on the tread of one of his shoes.


One man has even been jailed for possession of three poppy seeds left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport. Painkiller codeine is also banned.

If suspicious of a traveller, customs officials can use high-tech equipment to uncover even the slightest trace of drugs.

Mr Brown was detained and arrested in September last year and has been held in a cell with three other men in the city prison ever since.

This week the youth worker, who has two young children and a partner at home in Smethwick, West Midlands, was sentenced to four years in prison.

A 25-year-old Briton who was found with a similar speck in one pocket as he arrived on holiday has been awaiting sentence since November.

Meanwhile a Big Brother TV executive has so far been held without charge for five days after being arrested for possessing the health supplement melatonin.

The authorities claim to have discovered 0.01g of hashish in his luggage.

MORE:  Looks like this particular drug offender has since been released.

NEXT: Smoke that Tobacco Settlement Money When You Got It, Boys (Ohio Edition)

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  1. United States of America: Setting a shining example of freedom and spreading democracy around the world. 😛

  2. The UAR desperately needs a Raadlib al-Kho.

  3. Okay Mr. Tricky Title, I misread that as Jim Weathers (not work safe), who’s work gives me an erection.

    Need more coffee.

  4. No wonder we like those guys.

    Sharia- it’s for the children.

  5. At some point the UAE’s insane policy will begin to impact the willingness of people to travel to Dubai for business.

    Hopefully then they will abandon this craziest anti-some-drugs policy.

  6. John Walters Just Got an Erection

    That’s not funny

  7. This should be great for their tourist industry they claim to want to develop. .003g of a substance will get you 4 years? Talk about easy to set someone up a gram of hash would go a long way.

  8. The future of US drug policy . . .

  9. Radley,

    If you think Mr. Walters got excited just wait until the Park Police find out what happens to people who dance in public there.

  10. I read it as John Waters and got confused when the story wasn’t about gaping assholes or obese trannies eating dog shit.

    0.003 grams? Well, maybe some gaping asshole made it into the story after all. UAE always did look like it sort of pooped out Qatar.

  11. It was on the sole of the guy’s shoe. His fucking shoe. So if you go to Dubai and somebody pitched a few seeds outside the airport you leave from, you could end up in jail for years.

    This is a case where the UK government should seriously threaten the UAE.

  12. This really makes you want to go to the Dubai Airport and spread a nice thin layer of finely ground marijuana and various crushed up pain-med powders on the floor in heavily-trafficked areas

  13. Must have brought in a consultant from Myanmar.

  14. Hey folks, this is just Zero Tolerance?. Liberals and conservatives alike love and defend policies that are described with those words.

  15. JsD,

    No, not Liberals and Conservatives. Leftists like zero tolerance, no matter what cloak they are trying to hid behind.

  16. We’d all be in jail if they tested the residue on money in our wallets.

  17. SugarFree,

    I prefer my misreading over yours 🙂

  18. Right Guy, because it’s Leftists that brough no tolerance drug policies to the school. When Nixon and Reagan stepped up the WoD, they were being Leftists. You moron.

    If I was a British citizen I would be screaming to high heaven. Melatonin*? Leftover poppy seeds from a poppy loaf? A grain of herb**? This is insanity. If their citizenship or diplomatic corps means anything, they should lean on them like a drunk leans on the wall in front of a urinal.

    * Disclosure. I often travel with melatonin because I find it helps me deal with my jet lag, I never realized it could be illegal. Or why it would be illegal for that matter.

    ** Anyone arriving from Schiphol is pretty much playing Russian Roulette.

  19. This reminds me of a story from years ago when they started violating Constitutional amendments 4-10 by seizing assets of people accused of dealing drugs. As I remember it, the cops were confiscating cash claiming it to be the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking. They claimed they could tell the people they took it from were drug dealers, because the cash had traces of cocaine on it. IIRC this held up in court, at least until it became clear that every bill in circulation tested positive.

  20. This is a case where the UK government should seriously threaten the UAE.

    They would, but they’re too busy bribing them to buy fighter planes.

  21. If the Brits were predisposed to get all worked up about absurd totalitarian abuse of their citizens, they missed an excellent opportunity when this country apprehended an executive of a British on-line gambling site when he changed planes at an American airport.

  22. This really makes you want to go to the Dubai Airport and spread a nice thin layer of finely ground marijuana and various crushed up pain-med powders on the floor in heavily-trafficked areas

    I’m sure they don’t CSI everyone who walks through the airport. My guess is they identify people they want to fuck over and then do the micro search. “Oh look what we found on the sole of your shoe, that’s five to ten for you, Mister I-don’t-have-to-pay-protection television producer man”

  23. P Brooks,

    Why would they need to be bribed to buy British fighter planes? They make the second coolest fighters on earth! And this coming from a guy who never really liked fixed-wing aircraft all that much anyway (other than the P-51 Mustang).

  24. Yeah, I was thinking about that after I wrote that, Warren. I was also thinking that if they screened and had to arrest positively everybody, instead of realizing that they were being ridiculous, they’d probably find a way to do it.

  25. Nothing quite like the combination of repressive Arab states and Western moral crusades.

  26. As a citizen of Vancouver, I wonder how much crack and pot get stuck to my shoes just walking to the bus.

  27. I’m going to say the British government hasn’t made a big deal about this yet because they were planning on doing the exact same thing at airports starting next year. Now they have to figure out what to do with the white paper before it gets leaked to the tabloids.

    This is CCTV-UK we’re talking about here. Let’s drag out some folk wisdom about black cookware.

  28. [Student Union Liberal Arts Table Voice]

    Well, we really should not tell other cultures how they should behave, that would be so USAiancentric . . .

    Oh, it’s the Saudis we are talking about? This is an outrage! We need to write a song and stage a protest! I will talk to the AP reporter in my Exposing Zionist Puppets class about getting a press release.

    [someone else] Is that the title of that class in the catalogue?

    [me] No, it is International Journalism 690, to keep the Zionist tools like David Horowitz away.

    [someone else] Do you have a band line up yet? I play the trombone!

    [me] You are da person! No serious protest goes without a brass section these days. Too bad we don’t have any clown-suited lesbians on stilts around here.

  29. If only the US would be as commited to eradicating the scourge of drugs as is Dubai! We’d see some real progress in getting drugs away from our children!

  30. Dubai is an incredibly interesting looking city, but I guess I’ll never see it.

  31. Correction: Substitute UAE for Saudis in my saterical comment above. Still works and I still need more coffee.

  32. Guy- that was a reference to this

    [BAE’s] spokesman, John Neilson, added: “We have little doubt that among the reasons the attorney general considered the case was doomed was the fact that we acted in accordance with … the relevant contracts, with the approval of the government of Saudi Arabia, together with, where relevant, that of the UK MoD.”

    The attorney general’s office would not discuss claims about Lord Goldsmith’s concerns of “government complicity” in the payments.

  33. I guess these guys have never helped Orrin Hatch with any of his songwriting?

  34. P Brooks,

    My bad, I was not doubting that it happened, I was just amazed that it would be needed.

    Kinda like bribing someone to buy a 1970 ‘Cuda convertable.

  35. If you had a ’69 GTX, you could land fighters on the hood.

  36. PB,

    If my 1972 Charger were an SE rather than a Rallye, then I could do the same thing, with a Mini in the trunk 🙂

  37. Um, this story is over two months old and the guy has since been released.

  38. BTW, my neighborhood was invaded by the most icky MOPAR ever created, the “Smart Car”. The “boldness” of having it in red and white is something that I could not imagine without seeing it in person.

  39. GuyWhoReads,

    Thanks party-pooper, now what are we going to do with our brass band and rhyming chants?

  40. They make the second coolest fighters on earth!

    Which one, tornado, harrier, lightning or even older like the spitfire?

    (other than the P-51 Mustang)

    The P-38, F-104, F-106 and F-16 are cool.

  41. Tym,

    I was speaking of British fighters as a group. Of course, the coolest fighters ever are USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

  42. PB,

    What is your favorite car? Mine would be the 1970 Super Bird.

  43. Isn’t Dubai where hard-up arab businessmen from surrounding countries go to drink booze and get crazy?

  44. A bit off topic, but tonight in Arizona, a state which has learned nothing from Reefer Madness, they are showing an anti-meth documentary on every TV station in the state at the same time.

    The best part of that article is that every public official they asked in the article to describe the extent of Arizona’s meth problem said they either didn’t keep statistics or they had no problem at all. (Of course, that didn’t stop them from fear-mongering.)

  45. Okay, I am going on record as being pro-meth (and everything else) outside of my home or work environment.

  46. This kind of “drug detection” technology is really scary – I already know of people being arrested for something like .04g of marijuana in the US but that was in the context of a stanky jar with a little residue in it. Once detection like this becomes commonplace, normal people will have basically no way to defend themselves from the drug cops. Don’t like the way that guy looked at you? Pat him down, scan him and “find” .01g of weed and book him. And if it’s admissible in court, then we’re double-fucked. Prohibition is scary.

  47. And this is the liberal part of the Arab world? WTF?? What’s the motivation? For a country that desperately needs to lure a ton of rich people to fill all those new condos, this is sure a strange policy to pursue.

  48. This kind of “drug detection” technology is really scary

    I’m beginning to think that the only hope is for the world’s standard of living to go way, way down. I’m thinking Escape from New York or Road Warrior levels. The only reason people have time to inspect my shoes for flecks of pot is because we’re too fucking rich. Having to scrounge for one’s next meal ought to put an end to this nonsense.

  49. Since you asked, Guy, in my estimation, the perfect car would be a Lotus Super Seven with a Cosworth BDA.
    I would have to trailer it about five miles down the hill to the nearest paved road in order to drive it.

  50. Having to scrounge for one’s next meal ought to put an end to this nonsense.

    I remember that! It is from Ted Turner’s Climate Change sermon!

  51. We’re having a special on commaas, today.

  52. Are the extra vowels free?

  53. It’s a package deal.

  54. But- just so you won’t think I am immune to the lure of Big Ol’ Amurrikin Ahrn- I had a 1969 AMX (390CID- God only knows how much torque that thing made) for a couple of years.

    Unlike a Camaro or Mustang owner, you never have to worry about standing in a parking lot scratching your head and saying, “Which one of those AMXs is mine?”

  55. Okay, I am going on record as being pro-meth (and everything else) outside of my home or work environment.

    That just means you have no one left to come your parties.

  56. “John Walters Just Got an Erection”

    It weighed 0.003 g, according to UAE authorities.

  57. That is most definitely a crime!
    Wasting perfectly good marijuana like that…

  58. The man broke the law. He must now face the penalty, if you does the crime you does the time, everyone always gets what they deserve. It does seem a little unfair thougth because he could have innocently stepped on it, none the less, the law’s the law and it must be inforced exactly as written.

  59. No need to sprinkle the drugs on the floor at the UAE airport. Just spread it out on the floor infront of the departing gate for a plane headed there at another airport. Lord I hope The Netherlands don’t have any direct flights to Dubai.

    I can see the news headline now.. Entire plane of people arrested for smuggling .003g each of hashish into Dubai. One gram should cover a good 300 fliers getting on a plane.

    How is it they can find .003g of a substance but they can’t find any of their own terrorists themselves? Priorities I guess are much like the US.

  60. I suppose it’s possible the guy “innocently stepped on” the cannabis residue, but I notice the following from the linked article:

    “Brown said he had been returning from a holiday in Ethiopia to mark the Rastafarian millennium, [the publication 7 days] said.”

    Might be a coincidence, of course, and doesn’t justify this sort of legal oppression.

  61. The AMX was really cool! Too bad it was made by the BMW of America 🙁

  62. It’s below zero tolerance

  63. “Too bad we don’t have any clown-suited lesbians on stilts around here.”

    Imagine waking up one day to learn someone else shares your ultimate fantasy!

  64. Yeah, what Juanita said.

  65. Not one Google image…

  66. I want to know what makes a traveller “suspicious”. And how they can say with a straight face that a microscopic speck of something on your shoe proves anything. Oh well, stories like this just realize how good we (still) have it.

  67. correction: … just make me realize …

  68. I was hoping the Law of Conservation of Trolling would mean the emergence of Neil would require the disappearance of someone else… like Juanita. Apparently not. (Although I have to admit, at least she sticks obsessively to one subject – you can’t predict where LoneWacko will pop up these days.)

  69. peachy:

    just like no one expects the Spanish Inquisition?

  70. the innominate one | April 15, 2008, 12:10pm | #
    “John Walters Just Got an Erection”

    It weighed 0.003 g, according to UAE authorities.

    Thread winner.

  71. One country I thought was interesting, but which I will never, never, never ever go to.

  72. This is a case where the UK government should seriously threaten the UAE.

    Unfortunately for the UK, that would require a leader with some balls — like Margaret Thatcher.

  73. thoreau | April 15, 2008, 4:37pm | #

    the innominate one | April 15, 2008, 12:10pm | #
    “John Walters Just Got an Erection

    It weighed 0.003 g, according to UAE authorities.

    Thread winner.

    Thread-winner-announcement winner.

    The shoe was in the guy’s bag, he was not wearing it at the time. Still ridiculous, but feel misled by the post. Party on, dudes!

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