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Saudi singer arrested for dabbing

A popular singer has been arrested for “dabbing” during a concert in south-west Saudi Arabia.

Abdallah Al Shahani, a TV host, actor, and Saudi national, was performing the dance move, which involves a person tucking their head into the crook of their arm, at a music festival in the city of Taif at the weekend.

Dabbing is banned in the conservative country where authorities consider it a reference to narcotics culture.

A video of Mr Al Shahani’s dab became popular on social media and thousands have tweeted about the incident.

It is thought that dabbing originated in the hip-hop scene in Atlanta, Georgia, US, around two years ago, but gained a global following when celebrities, athletes and politicians including Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan began performing the move.

The Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Commission for Combating Drugs recently banned the move because they consider it to refer to marijuana use.

A poster published by the ministry depicting dabbing warns “people about the dangers of this [move] on the youth and society, and is warning against imitating it”.

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It is not clear whether Mr Al Shahani planned to dab or whether he got carried away in the moment as he performed.

The singer apologised on Twitter on Tuesday writing, “I apologise to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology.”

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Mr Al Shahani’s move has divided social media.

Commenting on the audible voices of women in a video of Mr Al Shahani’s concert, journalist Ayed Al Ayed tweeted: “Young woman, your screaming continues and I find it very disturbing. Whoever breaks the law gets arrested. Thank you to the security forces.”

“This move has an obvious negative influence on people. No matter what his explanation is, it’s unacceptable,” tweeted @brakalhmede.

Another user suggested that Mr Al Shahani’s behaviour was provocative.

“Even though the anti-drug authority banned this move and warned people not to perform it, this contestant is promoting it at a public festival. Does he think he’s challenging authorities with these actions?” commented @honest_very.

But some defended the dab.

“I’m sure it was an accident, because I personally know this man and his morals, and he has apologised and shown people that he wasn’t aware of the meaning of the move,” said TV presenter @Kemmooalharbi.

“This was just a spontaneous move, he has since apologised to the country’s people and government and you’re still holding it against him?” said @TDouHKejhaQbxdu.

While @asdasd550909800 suggested: “It’s clear that he didn’t even know what the move means”.

However, it isn’t the first time a celebrity has dabbed in Saudi Arabia though.

Social media users noted singer Rabeh Sager frequently performs the controversial move during his performances.

By Georgina Rannard, UGC & Social news with additional reporting from Amira Fathalla, BBC Monitoring

The dance move is banned in the country due to perceived links to drug culture.

Dabbing: Smoking marijuana extract with high levels of THC is growing in popularity

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NEW YORK (WABC) — There’s a new drug with THC that’s not the marijuana you’re used to. It’s not green. It’s not a plant. If you didn’t know any better, you might think it’s crack cocaine.

Users have to heat it with a blowtorch to smoke it. It’s marijuana extract; otherwise known as concentrated cannabis. The use of it is called dabbing.

Dabbing is illegal in New York, but it is legal in California, Colorado and Washington. Experts say it’s highly likely it will be legalized in New York in just a few years.

Eyewitness News met with two users in New York who asked us not to disclose their indentities. We’ll call them John and Joe.

“All of it is very very sticky,” John said. “Almost impossible to get off your hands.”

It has extremely high levels of THC — that chemical in marijuana that produces a high. Dabbing is gaining enormous popularity among cannabis smokers.

Seconds after dabbing we asked John, “How are you feeling right now?”

“In the snap of a finger I went from not high to being 100% high,” John said.

“There have definitely been cases where people have overdosed on dabbing,” said Doctor Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist and the Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders within the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System. “For the developing brain, we know that THC has long term impact even on lower concentrations, so no one yet knows what these high concentrations of THC will do because they’re very new.”
But medical experts say it can cause psychosis, rapid heartbeat, and blackouts. Traditional marijuana has a THC concentration of about 20 percent. Dabbing has close to 100 percent.

“It’s like any other drug,” Dr. Hurd said. “Dose matters. The fact that you can have 80-90 percent THC going into your body, I think people should think about that.

John and Joe agreed.

“Dosage is everything, Joe said. “You can have a really small amount where you’re barely feeling anything. And then at the same time you can have a massive amount where you’ll be high for a long time at a high level.”

Joe said it is important to remember dabbing must be done by responsible users and that it is not for the novice user. But consumed correctly he says it can be a purer and cleaner method of consuming cannabis versus smoking traditional plant marijuana.

There's a new drug with THC that's not the marijuana you're used to. It's not green. It's not a plant. If you didn't know any better, you might think it's crack cocaine.