Long-time Vancouver Island cannabis advocate Gayle Quin succumbed to cancer last night.

Quin suffered from a variety of health issues from an early age, including allergies, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, prompting her to turn to cannabis for relief and leading to a life dedicated to cannabis knowledge.

Quin joined the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club in 2003 and appeared in three court cases related to the group, including the Supreme Court Owen Smith judgment that led to cannabis extracts legalized for medical patients.

Surviving breast cancer in 2012, the disease returned shortly after, spreading to her bones and leading to a protracted battle, ending last night.

“I think the biggest misconception people have about medical-use cannabis is that everyone is just using it to get high,” Quin said in a 2012 interview with Monday Magazine. “I don’t want to be a zombie — that’s why I don’t want to be on a host of drugs. I just want to get on with life, be functional and not be in pain. This is what works for me.”

Quin was seen by the community as a valuable and loving member, acting a leading organizer and resource for patients stricken with illness and looking for relief.

“I’ve seen people come in here who have been given weeks to live. They don’t just have to deal with intense pain, but with this new knowledge that they’re not going to be here much longer, or that they’re getting evicted because they can’t work, or that they’re losing their kids because the ministry is taking them away,” she says. “This isn’t something I disconnect from at the end of the day — these are my friends, and I want to do everything in my world to help them.”

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