Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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All can aid in suicide prevention

As the director of UI’s primary student mental-health service, I am grateful to The Daily Iowan for the coverage of Tuesday’s “Send silence packing” display and for Wednesday’s editorial, “Breaking the silence about suicide.” Many responded to the hopeful messages of the day, and I hope many will seek help if needed. To help bridge the gap between those who could benefit from help and the understandable reluctance to seek help, the University of Iowa’s Garrett Lee Smith Act suicide-prevention grant provides a number of training opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to learn how to talk to a student who appears to be struggling emotionally and to refer her or him to the appropriate campus resources. We all have an important role to play in encouraging those who could benefit from mental-health care. To learn more, visit our suicide prevention web site at:

Sam V. Cochran, Ph.D.
director, University Counseling Service

Iowa should go the distance on pot

I read the Senate has passed a bill so patients with epilepsy could be treated with cannabis oil for pain and seizures under the care of a neurologist “if no other satisfactory treatment options exist for the patient.”

I find it strange that a single class of people have been selected to receive this option. Is this not discriminatory? I also find it strange that a neurologist would need to spend time seeing if any other treatment would work first. 

If the Senate would take a good look at what has occurred in Colorado — not only medical use, but also (oh, heaven forbid) recreational use. In addition to that, Colorado has received millions in revenue. There are requirements regarding purity of product. Senators, why not take a chance, and instead of a toe, put you entire foot in the water? 

Mari Struxness   

Experience not necessarily helpful

“Having more experience in the job”: is the last campaigning refuge of an office holder whose record — i.e., his/her “experience” — has not pleased the voters and has resulted in the emergence of a challenger. In 1976, a “green, young, inexperienced” challenger for Johnson County auditor replaced a veteran auditor of many years; only two years ago, another “inexperienced” challenger for Johnson County auditor replaced that 1976 winning auditor — who by then had 34 years of experience. In each case the newly elected official, with the help of his office staff, quickly took capable charge of his duties.

When the incumbent official’s policies are no longer in step with local conditions and voters’ wishes, and the challenger is offering new policies, voters should vote for the person whose policies they support — leaving aside “experience” and other side issues such as traditional party loyalties and personal friendships. For this reason I hope you will join me in voting for challenger John Zimmerman for county attorney. Satellite voting on campus is available at the Main Library on April 30 from 3 to 7 p.m. Register and vote at the same time.

If we were to always vote for “the experienced candidate,” all incumbents would be kept in office until they decided to retire. (Why even bother with elections, in that case?)

Caroline Dieterle

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