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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MAY 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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Vote for Lyness

In the upcoming Democratic primary, I hope you will vote to retain Janet Lyness for Johnson County county attorney. 

I have overseen the operation of the Johnson County Jail for the last nine-plus years. The average daily inmate population has decreased over the last two fiscal years by almost 20 inmates a day. You can thank the leadership of Janet Lyness for this. Her progressive attitude and willingness to implement programs that work to reduce the inmate population should be applauded. She has been a leader among all county attorneys in Iowa by thinking outside of the box when it comes to jail overcrowding.

Please do not throw all that experience away. Vote for Janet Lyness.

Lonny Pulkrabek

Vote for Zimmerman

The incumbent county attorney’s Marijuana Diversion Program is not the answer to marijuana arrests and charges. Even successfully completing the program and having the charge expunged from court records does not eliminate the arrest record, and that arrest record is what employers check when job applications are made and what must be disclosed in applications by students for admission to graduate programs (e.g., the health professions).

The program’s existence encourages a high arrest policy for marijuana, because the perception is that the program mitigates the seriousness of the charge.

Program participants are forced to undergo and pay for a substance-abuse evaluation, most commonly at the Mid-Eastern Council on Chemical Abuse (MECCA), which treats all marijuana use as a health and/or moral problem; MECCA’s propaganda undermines the credibility of all drug-education programs for drugs of any kind (just as the D.A.R.E. program did). Most people have realized that marijuana poses no real threat, and that’s why across the nation, they are using marijuana and asking for decriminalization or legalization.

Janet Lyness refuses to use her discretionary power to stop prosecuting personal-use marijuana charges.  She originated the Marijuana Diversion Program, and at its inception, it was a pioneering, progressive step to take.  Being human, she possibly feels protective of her creation; if she stopped prosecuting minor marijuana offenses, the diversion program would no longer be needed.

Please vote for John Zimmerman.

Caroline Dieterle


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