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Collins joins advocates at Stop The Violence rally to call for investment in anti-gun violence

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

Gathering to call for a comprehensive and well-funded approach to reducing gun violence, advocates spoke at a “Stop The Violence” rally in front of the state capitol Wednesday.

State Senator Jacqueline Collins joined other officeholders that included Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton to address activists, who included anti-violence group inVEST. Advocates called for a plan funded in part by the legalization of cannabis to fund programs aimed at attacking the root causes of gun violence and reinvesting in communities long hurt by punitive public policy.

“We know that the trauma and tragedy of gun violence impacting our community is the result of disinvestment and institutional investment for people that look like me and look like you, and because it has been government policies that have created this crisis of poor schools, joblessness and homelessness, government has a responsibility to right the ship,” Collins said.

The recreational cannabis legalization proposal currently being debated in Springfield includes expungement of some drug convictions, and also allocates 25% of tax revenue generated by sales of cannabis for community reinvestment.