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Terminal cancer patient faces mandatory prison time for marijuana charges


Benton Mackenzie. From WQAD8.

QUAD CITIES — A man living near the Illinois-Iowa border who suffers from terminal cancer faces mandatory prison time for growing and using marijuana to treat his illness after he was found guilty of drug charges in Scott County Court, WQAD8 reports.

Benton and Loretta Mackenzie and their son, Cody, admitted to growing as many as 71 marijuana plants at his home in 2013. On Tuesday, he admitted the plants were his and he was found guilty of manufacturing marijuana, conspiracy, violation of the drug tax stamp and possession of drug paraphenila.

Mackenzie said he grew the plants to treat pain he suffers from terminal cancer. However, the judge in the trial said his reasons for growing the plants were not admissible as evidence.

The man was not allowed to mention his condition on the witness stand, WQAD reports. The judge said his cancer was “not relevant” to the facts of the case.

Mackenzie is currently in hospice care.

Mackenzie faces mandatory prison time for the conviction. Sentencing was reportedly set for August 28, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.

Interestingly, an Iowa law took effect July 1, 2014, which allows cannabis oil for treatment of epileptic seizures only.

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