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Nol van Schaik in the Belgian press/Belgische pers.

It only takes a few words to activate Nol, so when some Belgian newspapers published that the Belgian government was going to allow, in January 2001, the words cannabis and legalisation were enough to drag us into yet another, thrilling adventure in Belgium.

He got in touch with Nico de Wilde, the webmaster of www.cannabis-belgie.com  , to see if he wanted to cooperate in opening a coffeeshop in Belgium. Nico was game, so the project started, Nol always manages to get the press interested, especially because he does not just says things, he does things too!

The plan to open a coffeeshop in Brussels was appealing enough to get good coverage in Belgium and the Netherlands.

“Haarlemmer opens coffeeshop in Brussels”

This short announcement in the local newspaper explains Nol knows it is still prohibited to open a coffeeshop to sell cannabis. Nol explains it is meant as a provocation, to try and speed the procedure up a bit.

“Weed from Haarlem to Belgium”

The plans for a coffeeshop were called of by Nico, he had serious threat from the Belgian Police not to even try it, we would all be locked up as soon as we would dare to open.
We told the press we would then start offering it for sale online, from the Willie Wortel Website, advertising it on Belgian cannabis sites. The reason for doing it this way was simple, Belgian’s Justice Minister, Verwilghen, was interviewed about the change in cannabis laws, he said he would not tolerate any cannabis outlet. When the reporter asked him how the Belgian smoker was supposed to obtain their cannabis, he stated they could go to a Dutch coffeeshop for it, as usual.
Nol thought an online service was just as good, from a Dutch coffeeshop.

“The first step: Hash online”

Another article about the online sales to Belgian and Dutch smokers, explaining this would safe the Belgians a lot of hassle, they could pay through the bank. And would get their ordered goods, 3 kinds of hash and 3 kinds of marijuana to chose from, safely in their mailbox. The sales were done from the Willie Wortel Website, openly, including a telephone number, a fax number and an email address, in case there were complaints about the shipments.
The sales took off all right, but the Belgian authorities forced Nico to take the banner down within two weeks, after it was in the press, but Nol kept the service going from Holland anyway.
Nol was asked to the Police Sration by Gerrit Silvis, the cannabis liaison, because, as he exclaimed over the phone: A thorough investigation on high level in the The Hague Justice department had ‘unveiled’ Nol’s illegal export activities to Belgium. Nol was not impressed by the investigation, after it had been in the press, and due to the fact that his name, phone number and address were exposed on the website that offered the cannabis. Nol was told to take the sales department off the website, or the Police would take the license of the coinciding coffeeshop, delivering the goods. We had to comply, but Nol did not want to give up, so he came up with the idea to open a branch of the Haarlem Global Hempmuseum in Antwerp, to start with educating the Belgian population about cannabis first.

“Dealer starts weedmuseum”

We told the press it was to be a Hempmuseum, but they only saw, smelled and heard weed, we think…

Dutchmen open Hempmuseum in Station area.

“We’ll teach the Antwerpers how to smoke weed”

This article tells that we have a building already, and that we started the renivations.
The headline was nothing or us Nol stated, but we loved it!

“Hempmuseum from Haarlem opens branch in Antwerp”

Insert article 1: Mayor and Police await intentions

The litlle insert in red on the page, is a comment from Dick van Egmond, the spokes man of the Haarle Police, he warns the Police about Nol’s way of going about. We’ll give you a translation of that insert:

Haarlem Police:

“He tests the boundaries”

Haarlem – Dick van Egmond, press spokesman for the Haarlem Police, does not consider van Schaik’s plans to start a museum in Antwerp a surprising development.
“Van Schaik is not unknown to us”, says van Egmond. “He is constantly pushing the boundaries, to see what can, and what can not. That is why we collided with him several times in the past. I expect he will apply the same tactics in Antwerp”
Van Egmond also thinks that van Schaik’s experience will come in handy in Antwerp. “He knows very well how far to take it”’, according to the Haarlem spokesman. “As far as I can recall, we never had any problems with the museum. We only had some discussions about what could and what could not be displayed.”

“Only the Vlaams Blok reacts concerned over Hempmuseum”

The biggest political party of Antwerp, the extreme right wing Vlaams Blok, was opposed to the plans to open a Hempmuseum in Antwerp, their Antwerp! They want to keep Antwerp as white as possible, and do not allow drug dealers such as Nol van Schaik to do their thing in their City. The picture in the article shows Filip Dewinter, the leader of the Blok, with some of his supporters in the background, sticking up their posters on the front of our building. We were in Holland for the weekend, it was on a Sunday.

“Excitement in Antwerp: Weed!”

Another Blok march, against the Hempmuseum, and against the Flow, the growshop opened by Jose Vermeulen, a Dutch ex-pat from Holland. The marches caused the police to raid the growshop during their opening reception, the place was closed and sealed for over half a year, not a gram of cannabis was found on the premises. The Blok manipulated the Police into acting against the Flow, addressing them as ‘Dutch drug dealers’….

We got two pages in the Vlaams Blok magazine. The Blok had v found out Nol was wanted for hash smuggling in France, since 1989, so they exposed this in their mag. Nol was called a “wanted criminal”, Filip Dewinter announced Nol’s arrest and extradition to France, as soon as he set another foot in Antwerp. He was especially pissed off about the fact Nol had been on Belgian National TV, a few days before. Dewinter stated the Natinal TV had given a wanted drug smuggler a platform for 50 minutes.

This is the Vlaams Blok poster announcing another protest on the opening day of the Global Hempmuseum, they had another anti cannabis poster, showing a person shooting up some substance with a needle, they are not very subtile!

This a huge article, it was published in P-magazine, Belgium’s main TV program magazine.

“Thanks to the dumb reaction of Dewinter, my museum gets enormous amounts of attention”

Q: In interviews you sate you smoke 15 joint a day, how in heaven’s name can you still function?
Van Schaik: “I still love the stuff, and I can still pronounce words, I run my own businesses, I speak Spanish, German, Dutch, English and a little French, and graduated for a lot of studies. It is a matter of getting used to it…

“Hempmuseum closed after opening”

The police were out to get Nol, who was in Antwerp, but with a disguise, and we ordered him far way from the museum. We decided to not open the next day, the Police assured us they would close the place, even if there was no cannabis on the premises, they would always find another excuse, as Inspector de Jager explained!

Wee did not want to be roibbed empty, as it happened to the Flow growshop, it was burglared 4 times, while sealed by the Police! We had to pull back, now we knew that Nol could not come to Belgium any longer.
Just selling coffee there is another
possibility, Dewinter.

Own people first, that goes against Hollanders too, van Schaik.

The cannabist and the racist.

Belgium will eventually change the Law in March 2003, allowing each Belgian to possess 5 grams of cannabis, and to grow one cannabis plant.

We just cancelled the lease on the bulding a few months ago, we had to keep paying, Nol signed a contract, so, the whole project cost us a bundle, we fixed up the building with 6 persons, it took us 6 weeks of hard work. Belgian is for the Belgians, as Filip wants it, we can not change anything about that, the Belgian voter can…

Maruska and Marcel.

Met groeten aan Jose, keep the Flow alive!

Copyright by Maruska and Marcel