French court frees coffeeshop guru
2 September 2004, AMSTERDAM — Dutch cannabis campaigner Nol van Schaik was spared a five-year sentence in France on Thursday when a court released him due to legal technicalities.
2 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch cannabis campaigner Nol van Schaik was spared a five-year sentence in France on Thursday when a court released him due to legal technicalities.
Van Schaik was extradited to France in July to serve a sentence for cannabis smuggling imposed in absentia in 1989.
But the prosecutor admitted to the French court that several procedural errors had been made in the case, Van Schaik's lawyer Mark Teurlings said. The legal problems prevent the French authorities from appealing the decision.
Van Schaik and his girlfriend have returned to Spain to give him time to get over his ordeal.
He has three cannabis coffeeshops in Haarlem and he is the founder of Het Spaarne cannabis museum in the city.
He has been a vocal advocate of the legalisation of cannabis and its use for medical purposes.
It 2001, Van Schaik teamed up with British cannabis campaigner Colin Davies to open Britain's first coffeeshop. Police closed it a day later. He also announced his intentions to open a cannabis museum in Antwerp, Belgium.
He was again in the headlines in March 2002 when he hosted a cannabis workshop in Haarlem for would-be cannabis entrepreneurs.
Ten people from the UK and two from Switzerland graduated with diplomas from the "Cannabis College" after completing a five-day course which covered all aspects of starting and running a Dutch-style coffeeshop.
[Copyright Expatica News and Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, French news, coffeeshops