A 24-year-old British man has been sentenced to life an eye-watering 25 years in prison after Dubai police caught him in possession of CBD oil.

Billy Hood, a semi-professional footballer and coach from Kensington claimed the 4 small bottles of CBD oil were left in his car by departing friend who he had taken to the airport. 

“I had just moved to a new home in Dubai and a friend of mine came around to see my new place. I ordered a food delivery then went to my car to get a second phone charger for him to use when I was suddenly approached by police. They jumped out to arrest me, handcuffed me,” Billy explained.

“One officer jumped out and pointed a taser at me, threatening to use it if I didn’t cooperate. They demanded I show them where the drugs are. I was shocked, scared and confused. I told them I wasn’t aware or in possession of any drugs or substances. They wanted to search my car then my apartment and found nothing”. 

Asked to sign a document in Arabic he initially refused and asked for an English translation. In his recount he says an officer replied, laughingly, “If you do not sign, you will never leave CID”. After 4 days in his cell, Billy agreed to sign the document.

“I coach football 6-7 days a week. I am always working with kids and in schools all over Dubai. From age 16, I played football at a professional level for more than 2 years. I have always had a zero tolerance on any drugs or illegal substances. For me to be accused of promoting and selling drugs in a country that has the same beliefs and values as me is very upsetting as it affects my future,” Billy told Detained in Dubai. 

His Mother Breda told DID, “He’s always been such a good boy and has never been troublesome. He helps out children, coaches and volunteers. He’s never been into drugs, ever. It is impossible that he is guilty of the allegations against him. Please investigate this case, Sheikh Mohammed. My son does not deserve to lose his whole life over CBD oil that wasn’t even his.”

Continuing she said,“The FCO have done nothing to help us. We are so disappointed. After learning of the other cases where people have been set up by police or falsely accused of a crime, I can’t believe the British government has not put this in their travel warnings.”

The severity of the sentencing stems from the charges brought against Billy which include trafficking, selling and possession. 

His lawyers have launched an appeal backedby a gofundme account with hopes the courts exonerate Billy in time for Christmas.

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After that of the National, the State Public Health Commission has broadly agreed to regulate the cannabis market.

The way is clear: parliamentarians can now prepare the law that will “lift the ban on cannabis and completely review the regulations relating to its cultivation, production, trade and consumption”. The Public Health Commission of the Council of States voted 9 votes in favor and 2 against in favor of the parliamentary initiative which aims to regulate the market, a few months after a (tighter) vote by the same National Commission.

“Dry up the black market”
The Commission of States therefore wants to deal with the problem as a whole. “Care will have to be taken to stem the black market and ensure that only cannabis whose quality has been checked is available,” she said in her press release released Tuesday afternoon.

The initiative accepted by the committees speaks of “introducing a tax and regulating advertising, draining the black market by removing prohibition and regulating production intended for personal use”. The protection of minors must be considered a priority, the text still says.

From now on, the National Health Committee will have to get down to writing the law which will then be submitted again to both chambers in plenum. Given the votes of elected committee members and the positions of the various parties, the proposal has the potential to be accepted.