This case is very interesting. It involves the use of cannabis oil in suppressing a cancer that has no effective conventional treatment outside of surgery. It is even more captivating because he was using a cannabis oil preparation that was mostly/all CBD which is not the usual way we have seen people treating cancers. Lastly, it’s thought-provoking because this is the first time that we’ve witnessed cancer respond to pure CBD oil as opposed to using a balanced THC/CBD preparation. It also highlights the absurdity of the Iowa criminal justice system, and how a man can be made into a criminal based only on his will to live.
Benton Mackenzie age 48, a resident of Iowa, became a lightning rod for marijuana activists last year after he was arrested for growing his own medical marijuana in a state where possession of pot is still highly illegal. In fact, Iowa and Nebraska have gone so far as to sue Colorado for increasing drug trafficking through their states.
Mackenzie claims that he was growing and using pot for treating a highly painful and deadly cancer. At the time he was facing the possibility of an extended prison sentence if found guilty—a prospect that would insure his death as certain as if her were executed by the state. That prospect came about anyway after he was deprived of his life-saving oil.
May, 2013. In Davenport, Ia., Scott County jurors delivered a guilty verdict on four felony charges. His wife and son were also convicted of the same offences. Benton’s case made national news because his marijuana use was to control the growth of several large, painful tumors on his buttock and legs. Without the use of this controversial and illegal substance, his tumors would grow like desert flowers after a rain shower. He was not growing pot for any other reason than for self-use. However, that’s where the problems started since all forms of pot are still illegal in Iowa. It also demonstrates how a judge with a different agenda can sway a jury by mandating that he not testify to the real reasons why he was using cannabis oil.
Because Iowa law does not allow use of marijuana to treat Mackenzie’s condition, Judge Henry Latham barred defense attorneys from saying he used marijuana out of medical necessity. That ruling further infuriated many Iowans who have reached out to support Mackenzie since his arrest. A “Free Benton Mackenzie” Facebook page had 1,797 “likes” on Wednesday afternoon.
Mackenzie believes the judge’s ruling sealed his fate with jurors who might have been more sympathetic had they learned about his condition.
“I’m still flabbergasted about how a judge can court-order me to not tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” he said outside the courthouse after the verdict. “It’s an abomination of justice.”