Renowned drug activist Joep Oomen dies at 54

On Friday the 18th of March 2016 the renowned drug activist Joep Oomen unexpectedly passed away in his house in Antwerp. The cannabis community lost an icon who will be sorely missed.

Oomen was co-founder of several advocacy groups including Encod, Cannabis Social Club ‘Trekt Uw Plant’ in Antwerp and the Union for the Abolition of Cannabis Prohibiton (VOC) in the Netherlands. It was during a gathering of Trek Uw Plant that the sad news was communicated to the its club members.

After Oomen failed to show up for a club meeting on Friday, two board members went to his house. They found his lifeless body in bed. The police conducted an investigation and ruled out a non-natural cause of death.

As Encod coordinator Joep Oomen was the driving force behind a unique coalition of organizations and individuals from almost every European country. In 2006, he founded Trekt Uw Plant (TUP), the first Cannabis Social Club in Belgium.

In his native country the Netherlands, Oomen organized the Cannabis Tribunal in The Hague, and was co-founder of the VOC, the Union for the Abolition of Cannabis Prohibition. He was also board member of the Legalize! Foundation in Amsterdam and an exemplary debate leader at the monthly VOC meetings. Oomen was actively involved in the Latin American Federation in Antwerp, the Friends of the Coca Leaf and Het Klooster (the Convent), where he organized shelter for the homeless for many years.

Joep Oomen leaves behind his wife Beatriz, two sons and a grandson. Cannabis News Network sends out condolences to his family and friends.