On drivers’ licenses, marijuana, and wild boars

BRATTLEBORO — The Campaign for Vermont recently wrote in an email: “The top three headlines out of the Legislature last week (after a week of across-the-board tax increases on working families) were a ban on wild boar, marijuana decriminalization, and legalizing drivers' licenses for undocumented and potentially illegal aliens. Do you share these priorities? What are your legislative priorities? Please let us know.”

Decriminalization of marijuana is not a bad idea. Scarce criminal justice resources need to target serious crimes.

Licensure for those who are undocumented is a step in the right direction. We should not be forcing people into the shadows while we try to ignore the reality. We need to decouple state public-safety issues from federal immigration policy, which, to date, has been dysfunctional.

Juxtaposing the unfortunately needed tax increases and the policy decisions and leading with the wild boar issue is a cheap rhetorical maneuver designed to elicit a negative response and denigrate rational discussion of the issues.

(Wild boars, by the way, are reportedly “an invasive species, reproduce rapidly and are known to cause significant damage.”)

Considering the Campaign's high-sounding mission statement (“progress before partisanship ... uniting Vermonters”), one would have expected much better.

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