DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A 24-year-old man from the U.K. has reportedly been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Dubai for possessing CBD oil.
Sky News and The Sun report the London man, Billy Hood, was working as a football coach in the United Arab Emirates when police there discovered four small bottles of CBD and a vape pen in his vehicle earlier this year.
As a result, Hood was arrested and subsequently convicted of drug trafficking with intent to supply earlier this month, the British outlets report.
Like THC, CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants, but it doesn’t produce a high like THC does. CBD is legal in the U.K., but the compound isn’t tolerated under the UAE’s strict drug laws.
According to Sky News, Hood claims a friend left the CBD bottles and vape pen in his car. After his arrest, the man says he was told he wouldn’t be released from his cell unless he signed a confession written in Arabic, and he was allegedly refused a translator. In the end, he did end up signing the confession.
The UAE government told Sky News that Hood had access to a translator at all times, and the ruling was made in accordance with the country’s laws.
Hood is now awaiting an appeal hearing.
Meanwhile, Hood’s loved ones are fighting to get him released and are urging the U.K. government to assist them.