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Jury finds Iowa man with cancer guilty in pot case

July 9, 2014
Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man who said he grew dozens of marijuana plants to help treat his cancer was found guilty Wednesday of drug charges.

The jury deliberated just a few hours before returning the verdict for Benton Mackenzie in Scott County District Court, the Quad-City Times reported ( ). His wife, Loretta, and adult son, Cody, were also found guilty of drug charges.

Dozens of marijuana plants were found and confiscated from Mackenzie's parents' Long Grove home last summer. Mackenzie and his supporters said he grew the marijuana to treat angiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels. He said cannabis oil from the plants had been shrinking the skin lesions that develop from his condition.

But a judge denied his attempts to use that defense during the trial and argued there is no legislation that allows it. Mackenzie's last motion, filed Tuesday, made reference to a bill signed by Gov. Terry Branstad that legalized cannabis oil for the treatment of epileptic seizures.

Mackenzie testified instead that his wife did not participate in the growing operation. He later told the newspaper he felt he wasn't getting a fair trial, which had closing arguments Tuesday.

Mackenzie and his wife, 48, were found guilty of manufacturing marijuana, conspiracy, violation of the drug tax stamp act and possession of drug paraphernalia. Their son, 22, was found guilty of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

The husband and wife are expected to be sentenced in late August. They told the newspaper they plan to appeal.


Information from: Quad-City Times,



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