Kennis is undecided on plea

T.V. personality, Presidential candidate will be arraigned on May 3.

By Jon Gaskell
New Editor

        Local television personality and U.S. Presidential candidate Mark Kennis will be arraigned this coming Tuesday in Polk County court on charges of marijuana possession, intent to deliver the narcotic and distribution of marijuana to a minor.  Kennis, whose wife, Lois, will appear two days later on simiiar charges, is not certain how he will plead.
        "I know that's the day when I have to decide," Kennis said of May 3.  "But at this point I've only had one conversation with my attorney, and I'm not sure what all of my options are.  We really haven't done that much.  So I'm not really sure what's going to happen."
        Kennis, who sold his family's motor home in order to hire an attorney for his son, David, who was also charged, said that he and his wife are being represented by court-appointed attorneys.
        "We can't really afford to be hiring three different attorneys right now," Kennis said.
        When asked if he thought his ongoing fight to legalize marijuana had been worth it he said, "You have to understand something.   Before I got to this day, I had to get through earlier days.  If you're just asking how I feel about everything right at this moment, I'd say it's been difficult, all of it."
        However, Kennis remarked that the physical pain he has had in the past, and that which he still suffers from, has been eased by smoking marijuana.
        "If you have pain, you want to get rid of that pain:' he said.  "I'm not ever going to second guess everything I've done.   My situation when I started smoking pot was desperate, and it still is.  I really didn't have a choice."
        Kennis offered that if people want to see him in prison for his pain, so be it.
        "That's society's choice," he said.
        Kennis remarked that he has been the subject of ridicule throughout his life, due to his health problems leading to weight problems.
        "It's like those kids killing people in Colorado," he said.  "I know what they were going through.  I know how they felt.  The only difference is that I found a peaceful solution which works.   I don't hurt anybody."
        Kennis said he is taking his "legal ordeal" one day at a time.
        "Actually, it's more like one moment at a time," he said.  "And right now, my biggest concern is for my family."

Grimes Today, Volume 1, Issue 36
Thursday, 29 April 1999, page 3
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