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Former Prime Minister Dries van Agt smoked his very fist joint at the age of 86 on Wednesday. Despite introducing the cannabis tolerance policy as Minister of Justice in 1976, Van Agt never actually tried weed himself, the association of Dutch coffeeshops PCN said on its site.
Van Agt smoked his first joint on 18 jan. 2018, the day that he was awarded the Koos Zwart Award, a prize awarded by the PCN to people who made an extraordinary effort in legalizing and normalizing cannabis.
The former Prime Minister also used the occasion to again call for legalizing cannabis. "Comrades, this is the year of victory!" he said. "Our salvation comes from California and Canada, the breakthrough is now really close." Canada and California both recently legalized the sale of marijuana.
The new Dutch government included an experiment on regulated cannabis cultivation in the government agreement. Municipalities are lining up to take part, with Rotterdam pushing to be the first.
Koos Zwart was a cannabis activist who died in 2014. Every year the PCN (Platform Cannabisbedrijven Nederland) presents the Koos Zwart Award to someone who has had great benefits for the cannabis world.
Previous winners were Ben Dronkers (2015), Rick Simpson (2016) and Doede de Jong (2017).