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Dying Man Deserves Help from Governor, Iowan Demands

Benton Mackenzie testifies at his drug trial. (WQAD)

Benton Mackenzie testifies at his drug trial. (WQAD)

DES MOINES, Iowa–A Libertarian candidate in Iowa has targeted Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for refusing, at least so far, to pardon a terminally ill man with cancer recently convicted on drug charges. Jake Porter, a candidate for secretary of state, wants Branstad, a Republican, to get involved with the case of Benton Mackenzie.

Porter sent out a series of tweets on Twitter calling on Branstad to take action.

Mackenzie, 48,  has stage 4 cancer. Wednesday, a Scott County court found him guilty on drug charges, along with his wife and son. Mackenzie argued he grew marijuana as a way to help him deal with his cancer. He wanted to extract the cannabis oil from the marijuana to deal with the plan caused by an aggressive tumor on his buttock, Mackenzie said.

Mackenzie’s health is so serious that he is in hospice care. He said the drug conviction, his third, would be a “death sentence.”

The Mackenzies face an August 28th sentencing.

Iowa lawmakers passed a change to the law last session that allows cannabis oil to be used for children with epilepsy, but it does not provide an exemption for people with cancer.

 

37 comments

  • Troy Hendrickson

    Oh it’s better than that, while claiming to be concerned about “drug abuse” as his reasoning for opposing all forms of medical cannabis, the Branstad administration has refused all efforts to combat the state’s number one drug abuse problem, alcohol, choosing instead to both promote and subsidize it’s use and production to the point where alcohol abuse now costs the state of Iowa over $1.8 billion a year.

    Iowa, the state of total hypocrisy. I swear we’d tolerate drunk 5 year olds before we’d let a dying man use cannabis.

    • William Denison

      Terry Braindead turned a blind eye to a bunch of drunks (most underage) more than just once taking over a major Iowa city (Ames) while he has held office here. He has no problem seeing death, rapes and crime from that angle.

  • Dan

    Apparently a judge thought he needs jail time. Prosecutor’s, police etc. And the Senate etc. hasn’t passed anything, I guess it must still be a law. Or maybe it was the rolling papers, or the pipes, or the amount, who knows. But there are a lot of people dying of cancer and they don’t commit crimes. Why is it all Branstads fault? On the other hand, if no pipes, no papers to roll it in, are evident, then maybe Branstad might have a look into it. Somehow I doubt that is in evidence, 3rd conviction and all.

    • Ryan Lankford

      The judge is a Branstad appointee, and cancer isn’t just cancer. No *effective* FDA approved treatments for angiosarcoma currently exist; due to the nature of the cancer, the chemo often kills the patient before it eradicates the cancer. It was NEVER being smoked, so pipes and papers aren’t going to be present. Given that the judge is a Branstache crony, no one will EVER look into it. It seems like your argument here is that this guy should have just shut up and died since the only safe, effective treatment for his angiosarcoma happens to be a substance Branstad and the GOP doesn’t like.

  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    “As for past convictions, County Attorney Mike Walton LIED to Quad City Times. Benton and Loretta have NEVER plead guilty to possession with intent to deliver. They plead guilty to manufacturing cannabis in 2011 (Loretta was bullied into a plea by shill attorney Harry DeLang)and Benton plead guilty to manufacturing mushrooms in 2000. During the depositions of the officers and during the suppression hearings, Detectives Furlong and Caffrey admitted they had no evidence of any dealing going on. No controlled buys. No complaints from neighbors about traffic in and out of the house”

  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    Would you like to know why they found no cannabis oil at the 2013 raid? Because the plants weren’t yet ready for processing into oil. How about the oil making equipment that was left behind by the sheriff’s deputies? Detective Furlong left them behind. He confiscated them at the 2010 arrest after watching Ben apply oil to his tumors one last time but did not remove the oil making equipment in 2013. In other words, Furlong wanted to hide the fact that Benton was growing for medical purposes. Ask Murray Bell about Furlong’s long string of abuses.

  • Ryan Lankford

    Branstad will lock sick people up and let them die in prison over self treatment, and let his kid kill two people and get off with a traffic ticket. GOP’ers, your right to call yourself “pro life” is officially GONE.

    • Ishmale Whale

      He will lock up as many people he can for any reason. It is good business for the private prison system and the prison unions. All the property seizures helps him pad his budgets.

  • Mike Cee

    There are millions of people who have had cancer and never used it as an excuse to grow dope. This piece of garbage Mackenzie is an affront to all of those who didn’t need dope to deal with the hand life dealt them. Then Jack Porter, rather than debate the issue on it’s merits, chooses to use something as ignorant as Twitter to take childish jabs at Branstad.

    Perhaps if Mackenzie were not a dope smoker he wouldn’t have cancer in the first place.

    • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

      Major fail Mike, you have no cred. There is no proven scientific link to cancer from marijuana smoke, ever. Face it, cannabis prohibition is ending. Right now here in Colorado, we will be producing 130 Metric Tons, So you want to jail a dying man with cancer while persecuting him at the same time for whatever preconceived notion you have about him, adding in tired reefer mad rhetoric only make you a keyboard assassin….

      • William Denison

        Don’t mind Mike Cee. He really does not have no cred. He even bashs women on other web sites. He’s part of the Iowa disease. He’s really into WWE wrestling, NASCAR, the Bible (go figure) and Twinkies as he has said about himself on his Facebook page. He does not know how to read…at least not the Bible which he claims he knows so well. POS

    • Troy Hendrickson

      guess what Mike, every time you take a drink, you’re abusing the most dangerous drug in Iowa, one that the state subsidizes heavily. so if you;re really concerned about drug abuse why are you such a hypocrite?

      • Ishmale Whale

        As I type this, while drink a beer, you are right about Iowa and alcohol. Iowa loves it so much, it is even subsidizing to put in into our gasoline. You do know that pure ethanol prior to being mixed with a petroleum product is moonshine? I wonder how many workers sneak a little of the un-blended product out of the plant.

    • Troy Hendrickson

      By the way, cannabis does not cause cancer, but it is documented scientifically to have great potential in treating it. Unlike alcohol, which has the highest potential for abuse of all recreational drugs, has no real medical value, and in fact causes more harm than all illegal drugs combined.

    • louc74

      So much ignorance in such a short post – wonder if it’s a record? Here: http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/news/20060523/pot-smoking-not-linked-to-lung-cancer studies show NO causal link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer. Other studies have shown that smoking marijuana may in fact decrease the risk of developing lung cancer. There ARE millions of people whose lives would be made infinitely better if they were not disallowed the amazing health benefits of cannabis, curing cancer being one of them. Calling a man who is deperately trying to decrease the pain he is in due to a disease that’s killing him by growing a medicinal plant, a piece of garbage is both breath-takingly ignorant and beyond callous.

      Perhaps if people like you weren’t so blind and ignorant, people wouldn’t be criminalised for using a medicine that actually works.

      Keep drinking the kool-aid.

  • William Denison

    People also need to understand what has happen to Benton Mackenzie and his family since his arrest. When he was convicted for trying to live longer and not be in so much pain he had to hired a (bottom feeder) attorney costing him and his family untold amounts of money. This at the same time he will lose his SSI for a felony conviction. Put that in the mix with the cost of meds he’s forced to take that make him even more ill and do nothing for him and you’ve got a broken dying man. Vote out republicans this fall so you won’t be next.

  • josh cannabis sativa

    WORST TYPO EVER in the title of this article… “Iowan”? Are you kidding me? It’s not just one person saying something about this. There are hundreds, even thousands of us…and anyone in the entire WORLD who wants to deny or debate any of the plethora of medicinal benefits of cannabis/marijuana can feel free to bring that argument to me. I will provide anyone undeniable proof straight from PubMed and/or reknowned medical journals. That’s right, Branstad, you might not have me in the state anymore, but I still teach the truth to my fellow Iowans everyday.

  • Ishmale Whale

    Iowa is so behind the times on so many social and medical issues. Epileptic children can now use cannabis oil, but it can not be made or purchased in the state. So people now need to leave and spend money out of state for medication like they do for fireworks? Cancer patients can not use cannabis in any form. You can live with epilepsy, cancer and the treatment will painfully kill you. It helps both, but why can’t the cancer patient use it considering they will not be around long, and it gives them some relief during the time they have? It would not surprise me if Iowa tried to make a law that makes the Iowa drivers license null and void in any state where recreational marijuana is legal to stop residents from traveling there to LEGALLY buy and use out of state.

  • Dan

    Why don’t you people just admit, that you won’t be happy till you can get stoned outside the poilce station. They changed the alcohol thing back about 80 years ago. All I can say is, run for office and make changes. And just what is the medical use for mushrooms these days?

    • Ishmale Whale

      I don’t think anyone wants to get stoned outside of the police station just like no one stands in front of one drinking a beer. Alcohol is legal, but public intox is not. In some locals, just drinking outside in public can get you into trouble.I have no clue on mushrooms. Never tried and don’t even plan on it…but if your a Native American and a member of a tribe, the federal government says you can use peyote if you do so in a cultural/religious way. I am part native American, and never have or will try peyote either. The most dangerous drug that I currently use is alcohol.

    • Troy Hendrickson

      Actually Dan, there is evidience to show that “mushrooms” can successfully treat cluster headaches, and you don;t have to use them daily to do so, I believe the average is around once a month if not longer.

      God provided the answer to a lot of things, if people would actually take the time to look.

  • Ishmale Whale

    There was also a recent controlled lab study on LSD. Picking up where the medical community left off in the ’60s, scientists recently investigated the effects of LSD-assisted therapy on 12 terminally ill patients approaching death. The findings of this controlled study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, showed that LSD paired with psychotherapy alleviated end-of-life anxiety in patients suffering from terminal illnesses.

    • Ishmale Whale

      Link not found. I don’t see how posting pics helps. What good can that prove other than being used as evidence “IF” they can prove the pics are of his plants. I can find many pictures of plants, but that doesn’t mean they are mine.

      • Ishmale Whale

        I am on his side, but he was convicted. I am just saying how the system works, pics could bring up other charges that were missed. Facebook postings are an investigators best friend.

      • Angie Khavos

        Oh, I understand! It’s just that I’ve been noticing people making many assumptions and arguments about the plants that I thought it would be a good idea if they knew exactly what are the plants they’re referring to, so they can make a more educated opinion about the case.

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