Dutch pot promoter Nol van Schaik has been released from a French prison after a total of 79 days behind bars.
Schaik, owner of Willie Wortel’s Coffeeshop and the International Hemp Museum in Haarlem, had been picked up at the Madrid airport on May 17, 2004. Schaik had 14-year old charge for smuggling 400 kilos of hash through France (CC#51, Dutch potshop guru imprisoned), and was caught in the increased national security and scrutiny surrounding the marriage of Spain’s Crown Prince.
Spain held Schaik for three weeks, then extradited him to France on July 6, to face his five-year sentence.
Schaik was held virtually incommunicado for eight weeks, sleeping on the cold floor of a crowded French prison. Eventually his lawyer was able to point out that Schaik had originally been sentenced in absentia, without him ever entering a plea. French authorities agreed that they had violated their own procedures and Schaik’s rights, and so he was released on September 1, and faces no further punishment.
Schaik is now free to travel anywhere in Europe. He recently attended the Barcelona Highlife Fair and Cup, and continues his cannabis activism.
* Nol van Schaik: www.hempcity.net