If you’ve ever dreamed of partying in weedwacky Holland without having to go through the trouble of paying for and arranging your visit, you’ll want to pay very close attention to a Dutch cannabis coffeeshop headman named Nol Van Schaik.
Nol runs three highly-rated coffeeshops and a marijuana museum in Haarlem, which is located 15 minutes from downtown Amsterdam near the North Sea coast.
If all goes well with Nol’s cybercannabis plans, potheads around the world will be able to begin registering in November for an online “Cannaquiz.” The prize: an all-expenses paid trip to tripout land.
“We’ve already got one of the world’s most popular marijuana websites,” explains the exuberant Von Schaik as he puffs on a phat joint crammed with Jack Herer, White Widow, Shiva, and special hashish culled from his massive collection of specialty resins. “When this contest begins in January, 2001, people can participate in an eleven week challenge that will educate them about marijuana and cannabis culture while also providing them the chance to win a fantastic trip to Holland.”
When Nol says all expenses are paid, he means no expense is spared. The grand prize winner will experience stoner heaven: quality lodging and food, transportation to and from Holland’s best coffeeshops, and the chance to smoke the best marijuana and hash free of charge.
“I see the cannabis culture as a fun culture, with people enjoying life to the fullest,” Nol says. “That’s how I live, and that’s what I’ll provide for the winner. Have you ever wanted to be behind the bar at a Dutch coffeeshop? We’ll put you there and let you chop hash as long as you want. Ever wanted to press a block of hash? Talk to some huge cannabis plants? Trim them? Pick up quantities of cannabis and deliver them to shops? The winner of this contest can do all of that and more!”
Van Schaik intends to make would-be winners work hard for the chance to enjoy Holland in a way that few other canna-tourists ever could.
“This contest is going to run for eleven weeks,” Nol said. “We’ll have approximately ten cannabis websites linked in. Every week, there’ll be one question about each site. You’ll find the answers only by looking at those sites. Then, I’ll have two questions that you can only answer if you are a true lover of cannabis. This isn’t going to be so hard that only a genius can figure it out, but obviously I want to reward the person who believes in cannabis and lives it every day like I do.”
Van Schaik has a decades-long involvement with cannabis. Whoever wins the Cannaquiz will get to party with a guy whose courageous and wild adventures have caused some people to call him “The Dutch Howard Marks.”
Howard Marks is a Brit who smuggled tons of marijuana in the 1970’s and ended up in an American prison. He’s out now, and doing quite well on the cannabis celebrity and activism circuit. Van Schaik also had some wild times involving smuggling and police, but he survived them and is credited with making Haarlem an increasingly popular place for quality cannabis shops.
Nol owns and runs three coffeeshops- Frans Hall (soon to be renamed “Cannabinol and Company”), Dutch Joint, and Willie Wortel. The three shops are listed as among the ten best outside Amsterdam; each has a unique and welcoming vibe that creates vibrant nighttime fun for girls and guys of all ages.
Nol’s business and spiritual partner, Maruska de Blaauw, helped create and manage Haarlem’s Global Hemp Museum, which rivals Amsterdam’s Cannabis College and Hash-Marijuana Museum in its stylish and comprehensive approach to hemp and marijuana history.
Maruska’s museum features rare collections of Tibetan marijuana and hemp products, as well as a thriving marijuana garden and Internet cyberstations that are ideal for tourists and researchers.
Maruska has become as popular a public figure as Nol. She tells wicked stories about experiences on trains with humongous bags of hashish!
As I walked the streets of charming, safe, historic Haarlem, which has its own canals, a massive church, and an artdeco train station, I heard people talking about Nol’s contribution to the marijuana scene.
“It’s great working for him,” commented Marcel, who helps Nol manage his shops, “and it’ll be cool to have somebody cover over here and smoke out in the shops with us. Nol has been through a lot, and has always come out a winner, because he cares about people and cannabis with passion that is unstoppable. Whoever wins the Cannaquiz is gonna inhale the best buds and hash, but they’ll also get to know a man who battles every day to legalize the herb and spread it around the world.
Nol cautions that contest registration will not begin until November.
“Cyberspace is great, but it’s a challenge to set this Cannaquiz up perfectly. We are also looking into the possibility of having an online e-zine, perhaps in collaboration with Cannabis Culture magazine, that covers all the European cannabis scene in a way that attracts people to our businnesse and culture,” says Nol, as he unpacks some vaccum-sealed Thai sticks. “We are targeting for November to begin registration for the Cannaquiz and welcome everybody to our website, www.wwwshop.nl. The site has live cams that show our dealer weighing product for customers at the shop, and tons of postings, news, photographs, and good history of what we have done for pot in Haarlem and the rest of Holland. Log in and tune in to the cannabis revolution!”