In previous Cannabis Culture exclusive reports, you’ve learned that Belgium recently changed its marijuana laws to allow cannabis possession and cultivation.
You’ve also read that Dutch coffee shop magnate Nol Van Schaik (see CC #29), who owns three high quality pot shops and a “Global Hemp Museum” in Haarlem, Holland near Amsterdam, has begun sending weed, hash and cultivation “starter kits” to Belgian customers.
Belgium officials told Cannabis Culture that their country’s new laws would not allow marijuana sales or pot coffee shops. Dutch officials say export of cannabis is illegal.
Thus, Van Schaik’s online Belgian supply system immediately generated massive media attention, forcing officials to reconsider how Belgium citizens will procure marijuana.
Last week, Van Schaik told Cannabis Culture he expected to hear from Dutch, Belgian and European Union officials. He’d anticipated that they might quickly move to squash his idea.
Instead, Van Schaik and his Belgian weedbiz partner, Nico, received support from key Belgian senators, who said that Van Schaik’s ideas about cross-border marijuana policy deserved respectful consideration.
Fortified by political, press, and public support, Van Schaik expanded his services and goals, which generated a media feeding frenzy. In the last five days, Van Schaik and Nico have appeared in numerous national and international press reports.
“We want weed legal and available throughout Europe, and this is how we’ll do it,” Van Schaik explained. “Nico is looking for a building, preferably in Brussels, where we can open ‘Willie Wortel Weed World.’ We’ll respect Belgian law by not selling cannabis products, but WWWW will be the cannabis headquarters for Belgium. People can smoke there. We will move part of our hemp museum there, so we can show the government officials why they should be subsidizing hemp. We’ll set up cultivation classes in a cooperative grow room. Belgians are allowed to grow five plants. We’ll show them how to do it right, using the best genetics, techniques and materials. Just imagine how much fun our harvest parties will be!”
Van Schaik says he analyzed and compared Dutch and Belgian pot policies before he decided to expand his Belgium marijuana activities. Individually, he says, the country’s policies fall short.
“But if you combine the two policies, you actually have one policy that makes sense,” Van Schaik said. “Belgian 16-year-olds can have and grow pot, but Dutch law says kids can’t buy at coffee shops until they are 18, which means the Belgian teens would have to grow it or get it from illegal sources. Our Dutch policies are smart because they give people a place to get marijuana without having to meet hard drug dealers. Willie Wortel Weed World will give Belgian youth that same opportunity.”
Van Schaik says that helping Belgians grow their own stone will provide several other benefits.
“We can eliminate a lot of the noise, confusion, and pollution generated by Belgians driving to Holland to buy weed. After we teach Belgians how to cultivate, how to make hash, how to bake space cakes, they’ll be able to provide legal tax records and weed products to go in the Dutch coffee shop ‘back door,’ which will solve a lot of problems in Holland, where growing weed is still illegal. We will also help officials in both countries keep organized crime out of the marijuana business, and ensure that people are producing and using the best and safest cannabis products possible,” Van Schaik explained.
Before Van Schaik hung up the phone to prepare for a television interview about his Belgian plans and his CannaQuiz “Win a Week in Haarlem” online contest, he said he would be working with government officials across Europe, offering assistance, encouragement, and expertise.
“A lot of criminal elements and some other marijuana business people are hiding in the darkness, just waiting to see if my ideas work, and then they will come in, no matter what, and try to sell crapweed. I’m doing everything out in the open because this isn’t about money. It’s about the cause. Now we’re receiving pot orders from Switzerland and other countries- everybody wants marijuana,” Van Schaik said. “The European Union knows that the US drug war policies are stupid, but they are hesitant to tangle with the United Nations about the ridiculous treaties most countries have signed that require prohibition. We’ll work that out. I dream about the entire continent getting together in one big legal cannabis party!”
* Nol Van Schaik’s potshops, cannaquiz, and belgium activities can be viewed online at www.wwwshop.nl. Cannabis culture magazine and website will continue to provide in-depth, exclusive articles on changes in european cannabis policy.