Marijuana news: Iowa man with terminal cancer to be sentenced Tuesday for growing pot

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December 10, 2016
Denver, CO

An Iowa man convicted of growing marjuana, which he says he used to treat his terminal cancer, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.

Benton Mackenzie, 48, who holds an Oregon medical marijuana card, faces up to three years in prison, reports Brian Wellner, a Quad-City Times staff writer who has closely followed Mackenzie's case. Mackenzie's wife and son also face sentencing Tuesday.

Mackenzie's supporters are expected to rally at the Scott County Courthouse before the hearing. 

Mackenzie, who lives in a rural community outside of Davenport, traveled with his family to Oregon in July so he could obtain medical marijuana. Oregon allows out-of-state residents to obtain medical marijuana cards.

In June 2013, the local sheriff’s office raided Mackenzie’s grow site at his parents’ home, seizing 71 plants, and arresting Mackenzie, his wife Loretta and their grown son. Benton and Loretta Mackenzie were on probation from a previous marijuana-related conviction when Mackenzie said he decided to grow pot again.

Both were convicted in July of drug felonies stemming from the grow operation.

During his visit, Mackenzie told The Oregonian that he used the plants to make thepotent marijuana concentrate, butane hash oil, known as BHO. He said he used the oil, which is made with a flammable solvent that extracts THC and other cannabinoids from marijuana flowers and leaves, as the main treatment for his cancer.

He has refused chemotherapy, which he said has a 50 percent success rate when it comes to angiosarcoma, the cancer he has. He feared the treatment would compromise a heart condition from which he also suffers.

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