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PREMIER BAIRD'S TRIBUTE: 'The look in his eyes when I met him will stay with me forever'
UPDATE: By editor Daniel Johns
TRIBUTES are continuing to flow for Dan Haslam, the Tamworth man who inspired a national revolution on medical marijuana.
Mr Haslam, 25, passed away peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by family at his East Tamworth home.
The unlikely medical marijuana crusader was thrust into the public spotlight after turning to the drug for relief during his torrid battle with bowel cancer.
His authenticity and deep conviction touched millions, pushing medical marijuana onto the national agenda and to the brink of legalisation.
His mum Lucy Haslam, herself a tireless advocate for medical cannabis, said her son would leave a legacy of hope for generations.
"He never complained, he didn't stop fighting right until the end," she said.
"We need to honour his fighting spirit and continue his legacy.
"We will keep fighting for medical cannabis and make it freely available to people who need it."
She thanked the Tamworth community for its passionate support of the cause, saying the movement was "only at the start of the journey".
Family friend and journalist Helen Kapalos said Mr Haslam's philosophical approach to life was never more evident than in his last interview with her, just weeks before his passing.
"He said 'nothing is ever that bad, Helen. Love your family. Love your friends. Tell everyone you love them often'," she said.
"I'm heartbroken the world has lost such a beautiful soul, that his family will never be able to hold him again and that his beautiful wife Alyce will never be able to realise the beautiful dreams they had."
Premier Mike Baird described Mr Haslam as "an inspiration".
"He inspired us, he inspired me; I count it a privilege to have known him and I'm obviously terribly sad on his loss," Mr Baird said.
Mr Haslam became an unwitting poster boy for medical marijuana after using it to deal with the crushing nausea and lack of appetite from chemotherapy.
Astounded by its effects and angry the drug wasn't legal for the dying, Mr Haslam and his parents embarked on a public crusade to raise awareness and help bring dignity to the dying.
Within 10 months, the family has triggered a national conversation on medical marijuana, with both the NSW and Victorian governments almost certain to legalise it.
At a medical marijuana symposium in Tamworth in November, Mr Haslam said the movement had become an "unstoppable force".
"It feels like the stress is finally lifting off our shoulders; nothing can stop it now," he said.
He is survived by wife Alyce, parents Lou and Lucy and siblings Luke and Billy.
FEBRUARY 2015: Marijuana licence a big win for Dan - Local medical marijuana champion Dan Haslam has become one of the first people in the state to receive a special cannabis licence.
NOVEMBER 2014: Medical Marijuana Symposium: Revolution starts here - Premier Mike Baird praised Tamworth for its “dogged determination” and vowed NSW would “lead the world” on medical marijuana reform, at a landmark conference at TRECC
NOVEMBER 2014: Cannabis coup: Medical marijuana reform a ‘runaway train’, says Haslam - The Tamworth man who inspired a national revolution on medical marijuana claims the issue has become an “unstoppable force”.
OCTOBER 2014: World wants to share drug drama - From the heart of one family in Tamworth, the human story behind the medical marijuana debate has gained world-wide attention. International news channel Al Jazeera, based in Doha, Qatar, was in town on Monday to speak with the Haslam family about their long-fought campaign to legalise marijuana for medical purposes.
SEPTEMBER 2014: Dignity for the dying: Historic step towards medical marijuana reform - A Tamworth family’s crusade to have medical marijuana legalised took a historic step forward yesterday when the state government snatched control of a bill to decriminalise the drug for the dying.
AUGUST 2014: Flower power raises funds for medical marijuana campaign - Flower power and community spirit joined together on Friday night in Tamworth for a medicinal cannabis fundraiser.
JULY 2014: Get hip, and send smoke signal to politicians - A massive fundraising party has been planned for Tamworth next month to build an advertising fund war chest in the lead-up to an historic vote on medical marijuana in the NSW Parliament.
JULY 2014: 'We won't bust Dan': higher priorities than raiding Haslams, top cop says - Tamworth's TAMWORTH’S police chief has moved to quell fears local cancer patient Dan Haslam could have his cannabis medicine seized in the wake of a shock raid in Melbourne this week.
JULY 2014: Strong sign of support by Premier - A Tamworth family has landed a decisive blow in its fight to decriminalise medical marijuana after NSW Premier Mike Baird gave his strongest sign yet he would support a law change.
JUNE 2014: Radio king joins marijuana fight - Radio titan Alan Jones will hold urgent talks with NSW premier Mike Baird in a dramatic new development in the push to legalise medical marijuana for the dying.
JUNE 2014: Medical marijuana for cancer patients - Dan Haslam’s story has led to reignited discussion in political and media circles about the medical use of cannabis. But this is not a new discussion.
MAY 2014: Doing It For Dan: debate winning over toughest anti-drug crusaders - The state government’s hardline stance on medical marijuana is under fresh attack as the avalanche of support for the Haslam family’s campaign builds.
MAY 2014: Pot of gold - Anti-drug crusader Woodley backs medical marijuana bid - One of the nation’s staunchest anti-drug crusaders has lent his considerable clout to a local family’s quest to legalise medical marijuana.
MAY 2014: Families should not be forced to break the law - Tamworth mother and passionate advocate for legalisation of medical marijuana Lucy Haslam says more supporters are coming on board. She writes that one of the latest is the former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Mick Palmer, who has told her he’s written a letter to metro media supporting the plight of her son Daniel. She says Mr Palmer told her he was compelled to write.
MAY 2014: Joyce fades to grey on medical pot - From black and white to shades of grey – Barnaby Joyce has had a mind-altering change on the issue of medical marijuana after coming face-to-face for the first time with Tamworth man Dan Haslam.
APRIL 2014:‘Cannabis is effective in treating symptoms’ - One of the nation’s leading drug experts has described a Tamworth family’s case for decriminalising cannabis as “utterly compelling”.
APRIL 2014: Dan’s crusade: Cancer victim launches campaign to legalise medical marijuana - Lou and Lucy Haslam are dignified people thrust into an undignified hell. They have watched on helplessly as their 24-year-old son Dan endures a torrid battle with chemotherapy, his last-ditch hope of fighting off the bowel cancer doctors say will eventually kill him.
MAY 2013: Morning warning for young people - Thirty VIPs – people who have a longstanding commitment to the Cancer Council cause and have raised more than $1000 – were present at the launch of the the 20th anniversary of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, at which local man Dan Haslam spoke to guests and Farrer students about his personal experiences with cancer.
MARCH 2012:Tamworth man's worldwide search for cancer treatment - Following a cancer relapse at the end of last year, Tamworth’s Dan Haslam is considering his options for treatment.