Greens MP John Kaye was eyeing to introduce a private member’s bill that seeks to legalize the use of medical cannabis weeks before he died of cancer on Monday evening.
Kaye himself had used cannabis for medicinal use in order to reduce the pain. However, his plans to pass the bill were put to a stop when his health started to deteriorate quickly 10 days ago and eventually succumbed at the age of 60.
“His belief in the need for the laws had been strengthened by his own personal experience and the benefit he received from cannabis as pain relief,” fellow Greens MP David Shoebridge revealed to Fairfax Media. “That sums the man up. He was always thinking of the greater good.”
Another fellow Greens MP, Jeremy Buckingham, gave notice of Kaye’s aim to present the bill on his behalf. “His intention was to advance the cause of decriminalising medicinal cannabis by drawing on his own experience,” Buckingham said.
The New South Wales government has gone on board upon legal proceedings on medical cannabis but the Greens contended that an immediate change to the laws is needed, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Tributes are flowing for the Greens MP, with family, friends and colleagues remembering him as a fearless, principled and formidable political figure.
“We’ve lost a brave, tireless activist and a wise, fearless mind,” NSW MP Jamie Parker told the parliament on Tuesday. “We’ve lost a comrade, a colleague, a friend.”
Before he was elected to parliament back in March 2007, Kaye worked at the University of NSW where taught and researched electrical engineering and specialized in greenhouse issues and sustainable energy. He received his PhD from the University of California Berkley.
On Tuesday, the Legislative Council was adjourned as a mark of respect to Kay. A private funeral service will be held this week in Sydney, according to 9news.com.au.