Four-year sentence for 0.75 grams of morphine

Emirati man's punishment comes despite his pleas to be sent to drug treatment.

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DUBAI // An Emirati man convicted of possession and consumption of drugs pleaded with the court today to send him to treatment rather than to prison.

“Please, your honour, refer me to Al Amal Therapy Centre instead of prison,” HA, 23, said this morning.

But the judge sentenced him to four years in prison.

According to prosecution records, Dubai anti-narcotics police

arrested HA on November 27, 2010, the defendant in Al Qusais area. Upon searching him and his vehicle, police found 0.75 grams of morphine in his car.

HA was taken to the criminal laboratory and tested for drugs, but the results were negative, prosecutors said.

Last year, Chief of Dubai Police Dahi Khalfan Tamim said he wanted prosecutors to refer Emiratis in court on drug consumption charged to treatment centres instead of prison.

“We had a state-of-the-art therapy centre, but due to the low numbers of addicts who willingly went to therapy, it was turned into a shelter,” Lt Gen Tamim said.