BREAKING: Quad-City cancer patient Benton Mackenzie was rushed from the Scott County Courthouse this morning where he is on trial for growing marijuana and transported to Trinity Medical Center in Bettendorf.

Prior to being transported by ambulance to the hospital, Mackenzie complained of extreme pain and hallucinating.

He was expected to take the stand today at his trial.

(37) comments


The DA should not have gone forward with this. The jurors should NULLIFY this case. The law itself is bad, and definitely this interpretation and enforcement of the law in this specific case is outrageously bad. Any of the jurors has the option of adamantly saying "not guilty." I hope one of them does.


What makes you think the prosecutor hasn't offered a plea deal?


they did...

Arc Angel

So why so many Bongs in the house? Who was lightin up?


So why so many insufferable, informal crazy fools in Iowa? Who runs this?


BGW; I thought my name would be part of my previous post, and so did not add it to my original post. I am the friend of the family, from the previous post.


To any and all who think Benton MacKenzie has been using the "pot" he grew as a recreational drug for himself or anyone else, you are sadly mistaken. He has never sold the drug to anyone. He doesn't have a long history of growing and using the plant. He has one prior arrest for growing pot, in 2010. He has always used the plant to help his cancer. His cancer is a type of cancer affecting the blood vessels. It manifested itself in tumors growing on his body. When he was first diagnosed, and given a year or less to live because basically there isn't a good treatment for this type of cancer. Ben began to do some research and came to the conclusion that treating the tumors with cannabis oil was the most promising treatment. He has pictures of his tumors at the beginning before treatment and during the time of treatment, that showed the tumors were diminishing and no new ones were forming. He and his family had to move in with his parents after the first arrest in 2010 because they were forced out of their apartment and because of the mounting legal bills. Since the second arrest, which by the way happened in a commando style raid, although the only ones in the home were Ben, his wife, his teenaged son, and his parents who are 73 years old. The busted into the home forcing all down on the floor with guns pointed at them as though these 5 people were members of a mafia style drug cartel.
They hawled them off to jail and all but Ben were allowed to bail out of jail. They were intent on keeping him in jail until his trial, that is until the district attorney and the judge realized the county and state of Iowa tax payers would have to foot the bill for his medical treatment. It was then they allowed him to bail out until his trial.
Since Ben hasn't been allowed to treat his tumors with the cannabis oil, the tumors once much reduced in size, with some of them completely gone, have returned and more have popped out all over his body. These aren't nice little neat tumors that just look awful, they ooze pus, and often break open and bleed. Not a pretty sight.
Whether you agree with what Ben did to try and live and to beat his cancer is up to you. Did he break the law as it was currently written in Scott County, Iowa? Yes he did. His parents allowed him to grow the pot at their home to use for medicinal purposes, so yes they broke the law as it was on the books at that time. If Ben were my son, would I do the same, I don't know for sure, but I do know I would help in any way that I could, and that just might be though allowing him to grow the cannabis plant at my home. I can't say exactly what I would or wouldn't do because I haven't been in that situation. If you haven't been in that situation, then you can't say for sure what you would do. If you haven't walked a mile or tow in Ben's shoes then how do you know you wouldn't have been growing the plants, that would help your body combat the cancer.
Whether you think he should serve jail time or go free, just know this: That district attorney is just trying to make a name for himself probably because he has political aspirations beyond being the DA for Scott County Iowa. He wants it too look like he broke up a big drug ring, so it looks good on his political resume. There is no other reason for not allowing Ben to speak of and present evidence of his medical condition.
Ben is in the end stages of his life on this earth, and while it hurts for his parents to lose their son, his wife to lose her husband, and his siblings to lose their brother, this family is strong, and they know that though Ben will depart this earth, he will be with their Lord and Savior, free of pain. They know they will see him again in Heaven because they are ll saved by the Grace of God. So feel compassion for them, but don't pity them, they would not want that. If you want to know why I can say all that I have with such conviction, it is because I have known this family for years. I have watched Ben and his siblings grow up since they were young children. They are my friends and because I am saved too, we are all part of the Royal Family of God.


A prime example of bad examples: Prosecutorial & Judicial MISCONDUCT, ABUSE OF PROCESS, violations of Due Process, civil liberties etc. The attck against the MacKenzie family = an Attack against All Americans. Administrative law is usurping Constitutional law. ANY and ALL "laws" that violate the Constitution are unconstitutional and are NULL & VOID. Because the few narrow minded manipulators of IOWA politics have hindered the legislation from passing comprehensive marijuana legalization laws, the PUBLIC CITIZEN is Defrauded of Honest Gov't because he is Defrauded of the Benefits of a Would Be, Should Be, Could Be REVENUE Source. Instead, just like the previous Prohibition (Alcohol) it was kept illegal so the real criminal class could enrich themselves while endulging themselves as well. IS there even a plaintiff with Standing or Jurisdiction in this case ? NO! "Standing is a necessary component of Subject Matter Jurisdiction" - Rames v Byrd, 521 US 811 and NOW, Inc., v Scheidler, 510 US 249. "A Plaintiff MUST allege PERSONAL INJURY (or Damages) fairly traceable to the defendant's allegedly unlawful conduct..." -Allen v Wright, 468 US 747, 751, (1984). "WITHOUT STANDING there is NO Justiciable Controversy, and the courts will not entertain such cases." - Clifford S v Superior Court, 45 Cal. Rptr.2d 333, 335. There is no immunity from suit for judicial acts when there is a clear absence of all jurisdiction. - Gregory v Thompson, 500 F2d 59 (C.A. Ariz 1974), A judge must be acting within his jurisdiction as to subject matter and person, to be entitled to immunity from civil action for his acts. DAVIS v BURRIS, 51 Ariz. 220, 75 P.2d 689 (1938) When a Judge lacks jurisdiction, or acts in the face of clearly valid statutes expressly depriving him of jurisdiction, judicial immunity is lost. - RANKIN v HOWARD, (1980) 633 F.2d 844, cert. den. ZELLER v RANKIN, 101 S.Ct. 2020, 451 US 939, 68 L.Ed 2d 326
Title 5 USC sec 556(d), 557, 706 addresses the LACK OF JURISDICTION because: ANY arbitrary or Capricious denial of Due Process = AUTOMATIC VOID JURISDICTION see HAGENS vs LEVIEGNE 415 US 83 , GRIFFIN vs MATHEWS 310 Supp. 341, 423 F2d 272, BASSO vs UPI 495 F2d 906, THOMPSON v GASKIEL 62 S.Ct. 673. When LATHAM threatened the defendant with a Contempt charge if he spoke the truth about his medical treatment of cancer, he violated this man's Procedural Due Process Rights and thereby LOST any jurisdiction he may have had. What will these lawyers do when their loved one comes down with cancer(s) ???? From their own mouths....


Some of you should be ashamed of your comments. Please either know the whole story and the truth before commenting. Many important facts have been withheld from the public because of the court. This man and his family need support and prayers not negativity.


The only parties that haven't been ethically able to comment to the press are the prosecutors and the judge. I'm not sure what "important facts" you believe have been withheld from the public. A gag order is not in place as evidenced by the defendants numerous interactions with the press.


I'm currently undergoing 52 weeks of chemo. You have no idea how terrible this feels every waking moment unless you've gone through it.

Ten years from now marijuana will be legal in all 50 states and, like so many other stupid ideas (including bans on interracial marriage), the criminalization of marijuana will be just another bad memory of a stupid idea foisted on the public by a small group of narrow minded people who used prejudice and stupidity to enrich themselves.


Wow, that's a long time to go through chemo, zetar. Best of luck to you.


Thanks. Yeah, 52 weeks, once a week, for chemo (three different drugs) and then I'm done. I'm currently on week 3.

It would be nice if we had a train that went from the QCs to Iowa City. Like they do in Europe, you can take the train from one city to another and it's cheap and nice and you can have breakfast on the train.


Good luck with your cancer treatment. I have seen it firsthand, it isn't easy, but there ARE many good drugs for nausea and the other stuff. Contrary to what may be posted here, pot isn't the only answer. My wife went through it for seven years before she finally succumbed. It killed her eventually, but her pain and nausea were well controlled for the most part. Just wondering, why are you having to go to Iowa City for chemotherapy?


chemo sucks. Best of luck


He was hallucinating, maybe they should commit him to a mental hospital and really railroad him......


What part of illegal don't you understand?


Do you feel safer?

Arc Angel



Please stop this unnecessary cruelty and injustice. Please stop.


This is a travesty of justice. IOWA officials are officially outed as the psychopaths they are. Read SNAKES IN SUITS - When Psychopaths Go To Work, by Paul Babiak, Ph.D and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D They define psychopath as a person (Judge / prosecutor) is a person "who does not care about other people, .."' "Charming" "Their hallmark is a stunning lack of conscience," "Their game is self gratification..." These Court officials and their jesters are DEFRAUDING its citizens of honest gov't. The purpose of gov't is to protect the Individual Rights of its citizens. That is the exact opposite of what these officials are doing. They have violated this family in the most violent ways, inducing Legal Abuse Syndrome, depriving them of their Right to Self Determination, (treating cancer with proven canabis oil vs chemotherapy), Due Process, Self-Defense ("Judge" Latham "Ruled" that MacKenzie can't use his cancer treatment as a legal defense. This is a brazen violation of a man's right to self defense, Procedural Due Process) "Procedural Dur Process INCLUDES the Right to be heard. To TELL the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOT to deceive the Jury by keeping any part of the TRUTH from them. LATHAM has proved he is incapable of rendering justice at any level as he has demonstrated his willingness to pervert justice. Google: The Necessity of Gov't - Importance of Philosophy. "The Purpose of gov't is to PROTECT the Individual Rights of its citizens. Then look to the list on the left side: TRIAL BY JURY. Click it. JURY NULLIFICATION is a DUTY of the Jury where a bad law exists. The bad law exists because the Iowa legislature is derelict in its promise to represent the People. Instead, they represent themselves and their personal goals to be parasite on the arse of society as a career politician. They represent the corporation (STATE OF IOWA) which is operated and manipulated by criminals who are depriving the People of a Vital Revenue Source. By keeping it illegal, they support the criminals invested in the private/public prison system. The "War-On-Drugs" like the previous "Prohibition" served to enrich a criminal class that is now being run by their off springers. LEGALIZE IT. TAX IT. so the citizens can enjoy the benefits of the revenue. The Iowa Legislation would rather continue the course of defrauding us of honest gov't by penalizing the citizens for turning right on red (70% of Red Light camera victims).
These creatures of gov't lied to us about Iraq, lied to us about how well they treat US disabled American veterans (Disastrous. read Vets Rights Hijacked Without Benefit of Hearings, by Michael Connelly and Top Heavy Salaries and Dead Weight Administrators, by Chip Tatum, BEWARNED, this may make you SICK. Six figure salaries for gov't creatures that DO NOTHING). These gov't creatures poison our water with cancer CAUSING FLOURIDE. Poison our food with cancer causing, diabetes causing High Fructose Corn Syrup, GMOs and a host of other harmful chemicals. Poison TOBACCO with over 1,000 chemicals. Refuse to Label GMO foods to deceive the People to Defraud us of our right to make INFORMED CHOICES. Refuse to BAN TOBACCO which kills 1200 Americans every day yet they persecute marijuana "offenses" ? This is a prime example of the hypocrites gulping down the camel then straining at the nat. This Judicial system is either a COMEDY OF ERRORS or a TRAGEDY, with Frauds Acting under color of law. Pick pockets. Thieves.
The attack on the MacKenzie Family is an attack on the American family and our civil liberties.


This is such a bunch of foolishness on all sides.

The defendant has a history of growing illegal drugs - it's not like he finally did this as a last resort to treat pain from terminal cancer. Cancer gave him an excuse to continue a hobby/lifestyle he has engaged in for decades. Others were using his crop for recreational purposes, and the number of plants shows that this was not exclusively being used to address his pain. There are numerous pain medications that could legally control his pain.

The prosecution needs to use common sense and make the correct decision. The guy is terminal - he's not going to live. What is the point of prosecuting him at this time? To the best of my knowledge, he didn't commit a violent crime. It's a waste of time and money to make an example of him. He shouldn't have the right to do whatever he wants just because he has cancer, but there are appropriate ways of dealing with this situation that don't involve the circus-like atmosphere that is pervading this affair.

I think this ambulance trip is another stunt. He's going to say that his current pain meds aren't working and are causing him to hallucinate. It's his right to play the cards he has, but I wish he would just accept responsibility and I wish the attorney would offer him a sensible deal. It won't happen though, and the circus will continue.


Sir or Madam: The emergency room doctor said Benton's potassium levels were dangerously low and it was a good thing he was rushed in. Unless he's a magician, I don't think he could have caused this to happen with the purpose of missing his day in court. The day prior to this he was having both auditory and olfactory hallucinations due to what we now know is his low potassium levels. He has been on hospice for a few months now and the staff at the hospital can't believe the court expects him to stand trial in his current condition. Benton wants to testify on his own behalf. He's not trying to ditch responsibility. He wants to be tried by a jury of his peers, otherwise he would have accepted a plea deal. Cody Mackenzie's attorney, Derek Jones addressed Judge Latham with the fact that regardless of Benton's missing medications, he would have needed medical attention due to his dangerously low potassium levels, as he also has a serious heart condition and an artificial aortic valve. Now that he's in the hospital and received a potassium transfusion, his hallucinations have stopped. The large number of plants were necessary for daily juicing and preparing oil for the purpose of shrinking his tumors........not just pain management. The pharmaceutical narcotic pain medication he's been forced to take since his stay in jail last summer are dangerous to his liver. When he was using cannabis oil and juice he needed no narcotic pain medication whatsoever. May I add, the Iowa taxpayer didn't have to pay his medical expenses either.


You have the right to move out of Iowa if you don't like it.


and you will burn in a fire below and like it...


You have the right to leave America if you don't like our Constitution and the Bill of Rights that guarantee Individual protections from bully corporations...


But not the bully Federal government. Don't get on the bad side of one Barack Hussein Obama or you will face the wrath of the Justice (smirk) Dept, the IRS, the EPA, Homeland Security, the NSA, the Dept of Labor and the FBI. No protection from those guys.


Only in Dport, what an embarrassment

Cheryl Lawrence

I wonder, what is the procedure to impeach a County Attorney?


This truly makes me sad to live here. Many things bother me, but this makes me sad.



Cheryl Lawrence

I know I misspelled Wa;ton

Cheryl Lawrence

County attorney's obviously are not paid to think! Are they not supposed to be represent the will of the people. Either impeach Waylon or impeach him. What if this was happening to his sister?


Despicable. Terry Branstad needs to be removed from office, along with any official or lawmaker that blatantly blocks legislation to legalized medical cannabis and to decriminalize those who have lost years of their life due to a victimless "crime."

Marajuana has never killed a single person. Cigarettes and alcohol have killed countless people. Why is it legal? Cause it's profitable to be legal. Cannabis is still federally illegal because lobbyists, super pacs, and politicians all profit from the prosecution and arrests of these "criminals."

Why do we continue to go after these harmless members of society when we could be devoting our resources to rehabilitating those who are an actual danger to themselves and others. Colorado is doing this and passing with flying colors. Wake up, Iowa. Vote for progress, not convenience. Terry Branstad and our current senators must GO.


Stress isn't good for cancer patients. Scott County will prosecute this man to death, bringing tons of bad publicity, and making McKenzie a medical marijuana martyr.


What on Earth is Mike Walton thinking, prosecuting these people?


Mike Walton is not thinking he is just tying to make a name for himself. It avails nothing to convict this man or his wife other then cost the tax's payers money. It only lets Mike feel like he is a big man and further his agenda. I know the law said it is illegal but some things go beyond the law when one's life is at stake and they are in pain. This man is going to die, leave him alone , so what if he gets some comfort from marijuana. He is not hurting anyone alcohol kills people everyday and it is legal . I am a old guy and don't see anything wrong with him getting some relief form It only lets Mike feel like he is a big man. I know the law said it is illegal but something's go beyond the law when one's life is at stake and they are in pain. This man is going to die leave him alone , so what if he gets some comfort from marijuana. He is not hurting anyone alcohol kills people everyday and it is illegal . I am a old guy and don't see anything wrong with him getting some relief form marijuana for his illness . Before all you jump up and down and say I must be a user you need to know that I don't believe in putting any foreign substances in my body but I also believe that the government doesn't have the wright to denie treatment to any human being regardless of what country they are living in. Those of you who think that marijuana doesn't work should do some research before making comments

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