The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

September 30, 2013

Iowa man may attempt medical marijuana defense

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The criminal case against an eastern Iowa man for growing marijuana highlights the arguments for the medical use of marijuana.

Scott County prosecutors say 47-year-old Benton Mackenzie is a drug dealer who had 71 marijuana plants in his house.

But the Quad-City Times reports (http://bit.ly/16M6nXz ) Mackenzie suffers from terminal cancer and says he relies on marijuana to treat his illness.

A court is scheduled to decide next month whether Mackenzie broke Iowa law by growing marijuana in his parents' house.

Mackenzie, who is representing himself, likely will try to argue that he needs the drug for treatment. But Iowa isn't among the 20 states that have legalized medical use of marijuana.

Prosecutors also charged Mackenzie's wife, retired parents, son and a friend with helping him grow the marijuana.

"I feel like nobody really gives a damn, except my family," Mackenzie said. "And now they're in trouble for not kicking me to the street to die."

Mackenzie spent 42 days in jail before prosecutors asked a judge to release him without bail, so Scott County wouldn't be forced to pay for his cancer treatments.

Mackenzie acknowledges having used pot and hallucinogenic mushrooms recreationally in the past, and he was convicted for growing mushrooms in 2000 and for growing marijuana in 2010.

But Mackenzie said the reason he's using marijuana now is to treat his pain and cancer.

Mackenzie's parents say their only crime was allowing their son and his wife to live in their home after their 2010 drug convictions.

"My husband and I have been accused of running a drug house, because we allowed him to live here and treat his cancer," Dottie Mackenzie said.

Scott County Sheriff's Lt. Bryce Schmidt said he considered the Mackenzie house a medium-size pot-growing operation.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Inspector had cited lauded Iowa nursing home WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa nursing home was cited for unsanitary conditions in its kitchen seven weeks before it was lauded by the governor's office as among the best such facilities in the state, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/U

    July 29, 2014

  • Dozens of animals found inside two Fort Dodge homes FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Fort Dodge authorities have found a total of 50 to 60 animals inside two homes that stank of urine and feces. Officers who responded to a nearby residence on Saturday were told about the animals. Officers then found eight dogs

    July 29, 2014

  • US Treasury secretary to visit Davenport area DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will visit the Davenport area to tour a manufacturing plant. Lew is scheduled to travel to Iowa on Tuesday. He'll tour Alcoa's Davenport Works facility, which produces aluminum products, includ

    July 29, 2014

  • Authorities: Fire destroys railroad bridge in Iowa DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a fire has completely destroyed a railroad bridge in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says multiple departments responded to the Monday fire near the Massey Station. Cr

    July 29, 2014

  • Golf rounds donated for Linn County veterans CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Corporate sponsors and the city of Cedar Rapids have donated 675 rounds of golf for active duty and honorably discharged veterans in Linn County. Patriot Golf Week begins on Aug. 25 and ends on Labor Day. The week is set up

    July 29, 2014

  • Iowa police investigate gunfire at pedestrian mall IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City police say they have arrested a juvenile who was shooting a weapon into the air and are searching for another. Police say several shots were fired Sunday morning at the pedestrian mall downtown. Witnesses tell police

    July 28, 2014

  • Tornado-stricken Nebraska town gets some Iowa help SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Sioux City school district is donating excess desks, tables and shelving units to help out some northeast Nebraska students whose middle school in Pilger (PIHL'-gur) was heavily damaged by a tornado. The Sioux City Journal

    July 28, 2014

  • People rescued after boat overturns near Dubuque DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — At least a half-dozen people have been rescued after their boat overturned on the Mississippi River near Dubuque. Nate Johnson with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the incident occurred Saturday. At least three othe

    July 28, 2014

  • One person killed, several injured in Iowa collision WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say one person has been killed and several others injured in a collision between a car and pickup in eastern Iowa. Iowa State Patrol and Washington County sheriff's officers responded to the crash around 4:30 p.m.

    July 28, 2014

  • Former Iowa inmate convicted in killing dies DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa inmate who was sentenced to life in prison has died less than a year being granted compassionate release because she was dying. Friends and family members told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1q5rCil ) t

    July 28, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National