Johnson Co. Attorney Candidate Wants No More Public Intox

By Mark Carlson, Iowa City Bureau Chief



By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - A Johnson County candidate for county attorney says if elected he would not prosecute public intoxication or marijuana possession cases. John Zimmerman, 45, announced his candidacy for the office at a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the Iowa City public library.

“If I’m elected, we will stop prosecuting people for marijuana for personal use. Let me repeat that If I’m elected, we will stop prosecuting people for marijuana for personal use. It’s victimless,” Zimmerman read from a prepared statement. “If I win, we’ll also stop prosecuting people for victimless public intoxication.”

Zimmerman made the announcement while surrounded by several members of the anti-justice center movement. Two former city council candidates also stood by his side, Royceann Porter and Rockne Cole.

Zimmerman said his policies will address racial justice issues in the community. He said policies by the current county attorney, Janet Lyness, fall short of addressing the issue.

Lyness said she’s worked hard on jail diversion programs and hopes to continue her work. She said her number one priority continues to be public safety.

The job of the county attorney is not to create law, Lyness said.

Lyness will face off with Zimmerman in a June primary before the November general election.

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