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Former Weed Shop Owner Begs for Help from King

(Chiang Rai Times) – Dutch cannabis pioneer Johan van Laarhoven, who faces a 103-year jail sentence in Thai prison, has written a letter to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, pleading for help freeing him from “this Thai hell.”

Coffeeshop selling cannabis in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Photo Credit: Jorge Lascar, Wikimedia Commons

“I didn’t do anything illegal,” Van Laarhoven, 53, wrote in his to the king. “I earned money in the Netherlands by selling cannabis. The Thai acknowledge that they have only convicted me for selling cannabis in the Netherlands. And they confirm that I have never done anything illegal in Thailand.”

The two-page letter is the latest development in a case that has attracted global media attention and drawn support of some political parties in the Netherlands. Member of Parliament Vera Bergkamp, of the D66 party, has repeatedly called on the government to take action to repatriate Van Laarhoven.

The Dutch government has so far refused to ask the Thai government to extradite Van Laarhoven, and conditions in the Bangkok Remand Prison are trying. Van Laarhoven reportedly shares his 50 square-meter cell with 49 other inmates, and his lawyers and family say his health is seriously deteriorating.

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TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CASE OF JOHAN VAN LAARHOVEN, VISIT JUSTICE FOR JOHAN: 

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