Former candidate, editor gives herself up in marijuana case


        Lois Kennis, a 1998 independent candidate for lieutenant governor, turned herself in to Urbandale authorities Tuesday on drug charges.
        Kennis, 47, of Grimes, is editor and publisher of Iowa Lady Magazine, and the wife of Mark Kennis, host of local cable television show "Big People News" and an advocate for the legalization of marijuana.
        Last Friday, Mark Kennis was among five adults, including his son David M. Kennis, 24, who were arrested at his 701 N. Fourth St. home in Grimes after police said they found them smoking marijuana in front of Kennis' son, Matthew, 15.
        Police also searched Kennis' home and said they found marijuana-growing equipment and a quarter-pound of home-grown marijuana.
        According to a search warrant filed Tuesday in Polk County District Court, a sign found near the growing operation said: "This is Mark Kennis' marijuana.  If you want some, grow your own."
        Urbandale Sgt. Jim Button said Lois Kennis returned home later with her young daughter.  "I didn't feel it was necessary to arrest her in front of her little girl," Button said.
        But police contend there is evidence connecting Lois Kennis to the marijuana operation.  Officers returned to Grimes Tuesday with an arrest warrant, but Lois Kennis wasn't home.  They said family members promised to contact her and have her turn herself in.
        A short time later, police said, Mark Kennis brought his wife to the Urbandale police station, where she was charged with conspiracy with intent to deliver and manufacture marijuana, and manufacturing marijuana.  She was taken to the Polk County Jail, where she was being held on $48,750 bond.
        Button said he expected this to be the final arrest in this case.

The Des Moines Register
Wednesday, 24 March 1999, Page 8M
Post Office Box 957
Des Moines, Iowa 50304
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Lynn Okamoto