Rhode Island House of Representatives
Providence, Rhode Island
While members of the Cannabis Caucus work to liberalize the federal laws surrounding marijuana possession and use, the real fight for legalization is taking place at the state level.
Most successful legalization efforts have come through voter initiatives, but several states are moving to legalize marijuana through their legislatures. One of those states is Rhode Island, where two bills called the “Adult Use of Cannabis Act” are currently being considered by legislators.
Among the co-sponsors of the proposed law is Moira Walsh, a Democratic freshman legislator who a year ago was a waitress and single mother struggling to get by. She got her first taste of politics lobbying Rhode Island legislators to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from $2.89 to $3.89 over the next two years.
As a legislator, Walsh has promised to focus on the issues that affect the people in her community, including the legalization of marijuana, which she sees a criminal justice issue. Walsh is also a medical marijuana patient herself.
“The War on Drugs has disproportionally targeted people of color in low income neighborhoods,” Walsh wrote in an email to Marijuana Venture. “Legalizing marijuana is a common sense step toward leveling the playing field for people in my district.”
With a bright future ahead of her, Walsh represents the next generation of legislators working to right the wrongs of the past, including the War on Drugs.