MARIJUANA

Medical marijuana heads for trial in Iowa

2013-09-29T01:00:00Z 2014-07-18T18:05:28Z Medical marijuana heads for trial in IowaBrian Wellner bwellner@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times
September 29, 2013 1:00 am  • 

Court records portray Benton Mackenzie as a career drug dealer, with pot-growing arrests in 2010 and this year.

Medical records confirm the 47-year-old suffers from terminal cancer. Painful, cancerous growths pepper his rear end, and the only relief he found is from marijuana Scott County deputies seized from his Long Grove home.

Next month, a Scott County court will determine if Mackenzie is a chronic pot grower undeterred by arrests, or a patient denied a home marijuana remedy readily available in 20 other states that have legalized medicinal marijuana.

Mackenzie spent 42 days in jail, unable to raise bond until Scott County Jail personnel saw the extent of his cancer and released him without bond in August to avoid costs of his medical treatment.

Independent physicians affirm Mackenzie’s diagnosis will lead to certain death. But before that, he has to answer to Iowa’s justice system.

Heart disease and cancer

Mackenzie gazes at a computer screen in the basement apartment of his parents’ home as Loretta, his wife of 21 years, brings him fresh juice squeezed from fruit in their garden.

He used to be more of an outdoorsy type and an avid bagpiper, sometimes donning a kilt to pipe competitively. Heart disease and a cancer diagnosis have turned him into an online research junkie, looking for ways to manage his ailing health with marijuana and chat with other survivors.

Loretta is a ball of energy, a woman who gave up a full-time job in order to stay at home and care for her husband and their son. She bounces back and forth between the garden and the house, doing all the cooking and cleaning.

Benton’s 72-year-old parents, Dottie and Chuck, allowed their son’s family to move in two and a half years ago. His father retired after 22 years in the U.S. Army as a non-commissioned officer who used to catch soldiers smoking pot and throw them in jail. His mother has been part of the same weekly prayer group for 40 years. Both were skeptical of Benton’s drug use at first.

Scott County authorities are prosecuting them all for growing the marijuana Mackenzie says provides his only relief.

He first tried pot when he was 16 as a recreational drug user. Even after he got in trouble with the law for growing psilocybin mushrooms in 2000, Benton grew marijuana at home. Pain from heart surgery was turning the longtime user into a medical marijuana advocate.

Police caught him again in 2010, when they lived in an apartment in Park View, Iowa. Police also charged Loretta, even though she said she never got involved in her husband’s drug activity.

They both say they pleaded guilty to avoid going to prison.

The 2010 arrest caused them to be evicted from their apartment, and they went to live with Benton’s parents nearby in Long Grove, in a woodsy pocket of homes nestled close to Scott County Park. Benton continued growing marijuana on his parents’ property.

Family arrested

Search warrants filed in Scott County District Court describe how sheriff’s deputy Dan Furlong, who began investigating Mackenzie’s drug activity in 2010, was determined to bring down a local conspiracy.

Furlong wrote that Mackenzie solicited a high school friend and convicted felon, Stephen Bloomer, to help him grow marijuana.

Deputies pulled Bloomer over in May and cited him for driving while barred. He drove a car registered to Mackenzie, Furlong wrote. Deputies also spotted Bloomer walking in the neighborhood of Mackenzie’s parents’ home at 27120 183rd Ave.

That was enough for Furlong to search Mackenzie’s trash cans, where he found marijuana stalks Mackenzie had stripped clean to make his medicine. Furlong used that evidence to obtain a search warrant.

“I woke up to a bunch of people screaming ‘search warrant!’” Mackenzie said. “They had me on the ground. They had my wife on the ground. They were throwing stuff around in my son’s room. I heard them trashing the house.”

Deputies seized 71 plants, growing equipment, a digital scale and paraphernalia in a motor home parked in the driveway, Furlong wrote. The motor home was registered to Bloomer’s mother in Davenport.

That led deputies to 1427½ Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, where Bloomer lived with his mother. They seized marijuana there as well, Furlong wrote.

Prosecutors charged six people after the raid. Benton and Loretta Mackenzie and Bloomer all were charged with felony counts of conspiracy to grow and sell marijuana.

Police say pot was found in their son’s bedroom, so 21-year-old Cody Mackenzie is charged with a misdemeanor.

Benton’s parents are charged with hosting a drug house. They've hired an attorney, but their son is choosing to represent himself.

“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 called Mackenzie’s a “medium-sized” pot-growing operation.

Hemp ointment provides relief

Mackenzie admits he grew marijuana. But he said he’s no drug dealer. He said he needs about three plants to extract 4 ounces of hemp oil, or about a week’s worth of treatment.

Court records include a 2011 diagnosis from a Massachusetts lab requested by Bettendorf dermatologist Dr. Manish G. Kumar of "high-grade cutaneous angiosarcoma." It’s a cancer of the blood vessels, in which tumors appear as skin lesions.

Mackenzie’s online research led to a recipe for the oil. If he rubs cannabis oil on the lesions and swallows the oil in capsule form, the lesions shrink and stop spreading. He also could manage his pain better with the cannabis oil than with narcotic prescription drugs.

He made the oil by boiling a mixture of raw plant material in isopropyl alcohol. He said he learned how from watching Rick Simpson’s online video “Run from the Cure.”

He grew plants from seeds he bought online, but said some strains of wild cannabis he found in Iowa worked as well.

Mackenzie reported his marijuana use to his cardiologist, Dr. Michael Gimbel of Davenport, whose office noted it on a list of medications included in the court record: “Cannabis, take as directed."

Gimbel did not return phone messages for this story. But other physicians nationally and in Iowa affirm the ointment’s medicinal value.

“Instead of putting this guy in jail, somebody should be studying him,” Dr. Charles Goldman, a cancer surgeon at Mercy Hospital, Des Moines, said of Mackenzie.

A 1981 Washington University, St. Louis, School of Medicine graduate, Goldman has treated angiosarcoma patients and doesn’t think Mackenzie’s claims of cancer-killing cannabis oil are far-fetched. Goldman said lab and animal research has been done showing that cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD, block tumor proliferation in lung and breast cancer.

Legalizing medical marijuana would free up doctors to further research the drug’s benefits, he said.

Twenty states, including Illinois, have passed medical marijuana laws. Iowa and the federal government have not.

“I think Iowa is going against the current of history,” Goldman said.

Goldman doesn’t expect 20 percent of angiosarcoma patients to live beyond five years, and he said chemotherapy has only a 50 percent cure rate.

An oncology team at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City recommended chemotherapy for Mackenzie, but he refused, believing the aggressive treatment might shorten his life span. He already has an artificial valve to manage a congenital heart defect.

He maintained his cannabis ointment remedy, saying it was his only source of relief. When Scott County deputies returned to his parents’ home in July to serve probation violation notices on him and his wife, they spotted a gram of marijuana on a coffee table and put the couple back in jail.

This time the bond was set at $5,000 each.

Cancer spreads during jail stay

Thirty new lesions appeared while Mackenzie was in jail. Some had grown to about 3 inches wide. He said the pain was excruciating without the oil.

“I feel like I’m being held down to die,” Mackenzie said in an interview Aug. 19, his 39th consecutive day in the Scott County Jail.

“I feel like nobody really gives a damn, except my family,” he said at that time. “And now they’re in trouble for not kicking me to the street to die.”

A series of written messages between Mackenzie and a jail nurse was a futile cry for help. He wrote on July 20 that he was concerned about his cancer spreading, and that tumors on his rear were keeping him from lying down in his cell.

The nurse wrote back: “Lay down at assigned times.”

Ultimately, Mackenzie’s prosecutor intervened when he worried the county might get stuck with the cancer treatment bills.

Assistant Scott County Attorney Patrick McElyea requested his release “based on the possibility that medical expenses could range fairly high to deal with the cancer,” according to a field discharge report filed in court records.

McElyea declined an interview.

After 42 days in jail, Mackenzie was released without bond.

He saw his release as the first time prosecutors even acknowledged he had a disease.

“I’m praying for them, that they open their eyes and stop this persecution,” he said after his release.

His wife Loretta spent two months in the Scott County Jail, unable to raise the $5,000 bond.

Benton’s parents pleaded unsuccessfully with Loretta’s probation officer. After Benton got out, he tried to argue for his wife’s release at a bond reduction hearing, even presenting a note from an Iowa City oncologist.

“He requires a caregiver as his disease progresses. His wife is his caregiver,” Dr. Mohammed Milhem wrote to no avail.

She’d still be in jail, if not for an unsolicited credit card offer that came in the mail with a pitch of zero percent interest and a $5,000 limit. They maxed out the card to free her on Sept. 9.

Cancer spread to Benton’s liver and lungs by the time he went to a Sept. 6 appointment, and doctors were talking about the possibility of hospice.

What Benton was trying to accomplish in treating his cancer with cannabis oil is not only legal in states like California, it seems to be working, doctors say.

Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather, a general practitioner in Sebastopol, Calif., said tumors stopped growing in his sarcoma patients after they started on cannabis oil. He even had a 2-year-old patient’s brain tumor disappear and credits the cannabis oil the child sucked off his pacifier because his parents refused radiation and chemotherapy.

“It’s very easy to recognize cannabis has a profound role in killing tumors,” said Hergenrather, a 1975 graduate of the Brown University School of Medicine, now the Warren Alpert Medical School, in Providence, R.I.

Patients in California can legally walk into a local dispensary and pay $60 for a 3-gram syringe of marijuana on a doctor’s recommendation, cancer survivor Michelle Aldrich of San Francisco said.

Her stage 3 lung cancer was treated last year and earlier this year with cannabis oil and chemotherapy.

“Did the oil save my life? I have no qualms about that one at all,” Aldrich said.

Benton Mackenzie said he would have liked to move to California, but leaving Iowa would violate his probation and put him back in jail.

“The whole system is handing him a death sentence,” Dottie Mackenzie said. “He wants to go to trial. He needs these people to hear there is hope for cancer. He was living proof that it worked.”

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(48) Comments

  1. Laura Harrison
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    Laura Harrison - April 18, 2014 9:47 am
    My mother was diagnosed with Stage IIB cervical cancer, then i wasted a lot of money for years for treatment,until i saw in the phoenixtear.ca in the internet that cannabis oil can cure all cancer,i tried to look for a way to get the Rick Simpson Oil and finally a friend of mine who he helped via email: ericolivermedicalservice@hotmail.ca told me how to reach him and get the oil,i was able to email him and bought the oil,my mother started taking it on 12th January and glory be to God she was healed in April after her last scan,i would want to thank Dr.Eric Oliver for the time he spent in getting this oil to save lives his email is ericolivermedicalservice@hotmail.ca,the oil works for all type of cancer and it is worth it.
  2. rosanaekelund
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    rosanaekelund - December 20, 2013 6:35 pm
    I am so grateful to Eric Oliver for providing me with Cannabis oil here in United States. I was diagnose with Breast cancer 2 years ago, and ever since then i have done a lot of Chemo and Radiation that have not help me, but only damaged my immune system and render it weak and helpless. I came across the Phoenix Tears and i have read about the Cannabis oil a lot and saw that I could provide me with Hemp Oil here is the State, i contacted him on:ericolivermedicalservice@hotmail.ca for the procurement of this medication, to my surprise the medication was procured and delivered within 48 hours and i have been on treatment for the past 3 months. Am now here to testify that am no more a cancer patient, I have experience a total transformation in my health sector with Rick Simpson Hemp oil service. for all cancer patient that live in the America and Canada region, get your Hemp oil from ericolivermedicalservice@hotmail.ca,
    Rosana Ekelund
  3. rosanaekelund
    Report Abuse
    rosanaekelund - December 20, 2013 6:30 pm
    I am so grateful to Eric Oliver for providing me with Cannabis oil here in United States. I was diagnose with Breast cancer 2 years ago, and ever since then i have done a lot of Chemo and Radiation that have not help me, but only damaged my immune system and render it weak and helpless. I came across the Phoenix Tears and i have read about the Cannabis oil a lot and saw that I could provide me with Hemp Oil here is the State, i contacted him on:ericolivermedicalservice@hotmail.ca for the procurement of this medication, to my surprise the medication was procured and delivered within 48 hours and i have been on treatment for the past 3 months. Am now here to testify that am no more a cancer patient, I have experience a total transformation in my health sector with Rick Simpson Hemp oil service. for all cancer patient that live in the America and Canada region, get your Hemp oil from ericolivermedicalservice@hotmail.ca,
    Rosana Ekelund
  4. Fugs
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    Fugs - October 08, 2013 8:05 am
    Hello, I just wanted to say that it seems to me that your prosecution is malicious. This man sought you out. It is terrible. I am so sorry you are in so much pain. I AM glad that you were able to find something to at least ease the pain for a bit so you can do everyday things that the rest of us take for granted. In my humble opinion, prosecuting someone who is terminally ill is like waking someone up to give them a sleeping pill. They need to focus on the real crimes instead of a man that is just trying to get through the day without massive amounts of pain. I hope all goes well with this. Please keep us posted as to what happens. Thanks! :D
  5. Bohdi1966
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    Bohdi1966 - October 05, 2013 12:26 pm
    So what, the Banks engage in unethical if not illegal activity all day and night. Part of doing business. Just a reminder, study the history of marijuana and hemp prohibition. You might learn something and your fixed, rigid attitude may just flex a little bit. Your black and white thinking fails to explain prohibition. Mr. MacKenzie is obviously trying to enlighten many us of the facts of medical marijuana and its applications. Because for some of us there is no alternative. So marijuana and its medicinal properties help treat our medical ailments.
  6. bentmack
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    bentmack - October 05, 2013 11:22 am
    About the search warrant:
    183rd Ave. is a private lane, there is no public access. Entering if you do not live here is a trespass. There is a search warrant missing, the one that was required to come on private property to access the trash. Just to get to our trash, one must pass two no-trespassing signs and trespass across six properties. Even the picture on the application of the search warrant could not have been taken from a position other than on private property. This translates to a muffed search warrant and multiple acts of trespassing. And on top of all that, they've already sold off several items of property confiscated as evidence. Who does that?! So, with so many ways to slice an apple, this case probably won't see a jury, anyway.
  7. bentmack
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    bentmack - October 04, 2013 4:48 pm
    My name is Benton Mackenzie, the man in the article. First I want to say hats off to Brian Wellner for going way beyond what most have done to find out what is really going on. He did a great job with this, but just a few things I could say to help clarify.

    As for the questions and comments concerning plant count:
    For the best effect, the cannabinoids should be taken in two or three ways, ie. juice from fresh leaves and buds, oil taken orally, and inhaled ( vaporized or smoked.) So for a regular regimen for a person like me with aggressive forms of cancer that are not as easy to combat, the number of plants needed goes something like this: To get one juice plant
    every day, flowering three weeks, it's twenty one plants in the flower stage at any given time. Along with at least three to four weeks of vegetation time giving another twenty-one to twenty-eight plants in the vegetative state at any given time. On top of this, you need at least three mothers from which to take cuttings. Three, because it is important to mix
    up the ratio frequently to not build up a familiarity or resistance to one individual plant. If your cuttings take root within two weeks that's another fourteen, at least by the way these cops count, as there was probably ten to twenty of their count that didn't have roots yet, but we won't count these, as these are not yet plants. So that's fifty-two, just for juice.

    Now for the oil: The average grower would need to harvest around four or five plants per month to produce the one and a half pounds necessary to produce one gram a day for a month. So for a two month flower period to finish, one would need eight to ten plants in the flower stage at any given time. For a plant to produce that much, you would need to vegetate for two weeks to two months depending on the strain conditions and ability, which makes eight to ten plants in the vegetative state for that purpose at any given time. As for smoke, one could probably get away with four to five in flower and four to five in veg at any given time. So, providing nothing goes wrong, the average grower (not beginner) would need 52 for juice, 20 for oil, and 10 for buds. Thats 82 at any given time. So I think anything under the federal limit of 100 plant count is completely reasonable and realistic for a regular daily regimen for a person fighting an aggressive condition. Now this is for somebody with some experience but not necessarily an expert which could
    cut their plant numbers considerably, but even they have times when everything doesn't go right. So, should one err on the side of safety, or for fear of not appearing a dealer, rigidly adhere to a number that somebody wrote down somewhere to regulate it that doesn't even know what they're talking about?
  8. creeper
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    creeper - October 04, 2013 9:15 am
    How much is it costing us to continue persecuting this terminally ill man?
  9. Mark Riley 4 State Senate
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    Mark Riley 4 State Senate - October 03, 2013 5:42 pm
    LOL
  10. Shoreline
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    Shoreline - October 03, 2013 3:16 pm
    Yeah, I've heard this argument before. My reply: The associated social ills that would come with "freedom" really have to be thought through. The founding fathers did think it through, and concluded that freedom and liberty was of paramount importance to our nation. They did not conclude that "you tell me why you want freedom and liberty, and I'll tell you why you can't have it".
  11. Shoreline
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    Shoreline - October 03, 2013 3:04 pm
    It's a good thing stupidity is legal, huh? You won't fight for my freedom, I won't fight for yours. Bailiff, lock this dude up.
  12. Shoreline
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    Shoreline - October 03, 2013 2:58 pm
    Plant matter is supposed to be composted, not thrown in the trash. If everyone threw their stems in the trash, just think how overburdened humanity's landfills would be. The insensitivity of those suffering and dying of cancer towards our landfills is appalling. This is not to mention the insensitivity MacKensie exhibited by utilizing an illegal substance in the privacy of his own home to alleviate his incurable pain and suffering, knowing full well that this action bugged the **** out of some jack-booted thug someplace else, whose freedom and liberty were not affected by MacKensie's actions, and in the employ of the closest member of the axis of evil. Let freedom ring.
  13. Mark Riley 4 State Senate
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    Mark Riley 4 State Senate - October 03, 2013 11:18 am
    True but there is the argument that congress does not have the authority to make Hemp illegal and that all powers not specifically designated to the Federal Government shall be the authority of the States. Why for example did congress and the country feel it needed to ask for the States to ratify the amendment to the constitution to ban alcohol. Clearly the time has come to recognize that medicine and drugs are solely a domain of the individual states. The FDA should only be safety check and or a consumer watch dog and be severely limited in the scope of its current power.
  14. Shoreline
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    Shoreline - October 03, 2013 10:08 am
    So to you, freedom means that you are free to restrict and control the personal behavior of other Americans? Other Americans exercising their God given freedom and liberty, participating in a behavior that has no impact on your own personal freedom? Obviously you do not believe in the fundamental principles upon which our nation was founded, and are not really an American. History has shown that real Americans will fight oppression, will fight tyranny, will fight and die if necessary to defend the freedoms and liberties of other Americans.
  15. Shoreline
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    Shoreline - October 03, 2013 9:57 am
    This is not a war on drugs or marijuana. It's a war on American citizens committed by our government. It is they that should be prosecuted. Their actions are not only un-American, they are anti-American.
  16. I-POPS
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    I-POPS - October 02, 2013 6:56 pm
    RevRayGreen ya are highly missinformed when something is illegal
    in the united states and I mean states as a whole it is a federal law and NO
    states are exempt. Federal law marijuana is illegal plain and simple.
  17. Rotgut
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    Rotgut - October 02, 2013 1:50 pm
    Kudos to the Times for running this story and to the writer for going beyond the police report. I only hope this gets reposted all over.
  18. Mark Riley 4 State Senate
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    Mark Riley 4 State Senate - October 02, 2013 9:42 am
    VOTERS have a choice. In the Democratic primary next spring Voters can make their desire known. I will be running against Sen. Seng as a Democrat in the primary. 4 years ago in a debate with Sen, Seng at St Ambrose university Sen. Seng went on record as opposing legalization and de-criminalization. I went on record as supporting de-criminalization.
    I will support a "whole milk" policy with regard to marijuana. 1. whole or raw milk may not be sold in stores but those who desire it may purchase from the farmer directly. 2. treating marijuana as the same as "whole milk" will take criminal activity out of the Hemp trade, allow local growers to grow their own plants eliminating crime and violence from Mexican cross border traffic. 3. It will eliminate the liability issues that come from full legalization and eliminate the state receiving tax revenue from what some might think is a vice. 4. I will also if elected, introduce retro active legislation releasing all person's convicted of marijuana trafficking with out violence or firearm convictions from tax payer supported housing units(jail).
    I am a 23 year Marine veteran and 8 year railroad and trucking employee subject to random testing. I don't use Marijuana! My opinion's on this matter are published in the "Daily Iowan" and the "River Cities reader" in 2009-2010.
    Sen. Seng is a good man and good politician but I think its time for new ideas to serve our community's interest. During my campaign of 2010 I was in every bar in the district and at least half of them had open smoking of marijuana taking place on the premise. Laws that do not reflect culture should be removed to up hold the respect people have for law
  19. Shef
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    Shef - October 01, 2013 9:29 pm
    It's deplorable that they would have kept him if not for the medical bills. So he is a criminal worthy to be locked up unless it will cost cash?
  20. geoff
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    geoff - October 01, 2013 11:32 am
    The cops and politicans have created a criminal now they should commit him to a mental hospital and make a mental patient out of him and force him to take anti pshycotic medication that shrinks the brain and keep him on the meds forever. The cops are good at that. The cops and politicans are good for nothing people who like to see people suffer. A bunch of money grubbing conformist. They should be ashamed of themselves.
  21. 1of3
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    1of3 - October 01, 2013 8:24 am
    I will be praying for your husband and your family! I think what they have done to your family is absolutely horrible and I hope that some day true justice will prevail. In my opinion locking your husband up and denying him the only treatment available to him is the definition of cruel and unusual punishment!
  22. commonsense1333
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    commonsense1333 - September 30, 2013 2:14 pm
    The trial is set for December 2nd, 2013 @ 9am at the Scott County Courthouse, 400 West 4th Street, Davenport, Iowa 52801. Thank you for your support!
    Loretta Mackenzie
  23. alanmonrovia
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    alanmonrovia - September 30, 2013 11:07 am
    "The associated social ills that would come with (legalization) really have to be thought through..." -
    See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/09/29/lawmakers-to-introduce-bills-to-decriminalize-marijuana/#sthash.pV5p0hBe.dpuf

    But the social ills that come with prohibition are all too obvious.
    “Don’t let government play doctor. Opt out of Prohibition!”
  24. Maggie's Mom
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    Maggie's Mom - September 30, 2013 8:16 am
    • Jeanette Tapprich-Roman recommends an article.
    In Mr. Mackenzie's defense, my husband passed away 14 months ago of cancer of the inside lining of his blood vessels. Most of his lesions were on the inside. There was no prescribed pain medication, oral or IV, that would relieve the severe excruciating pain. His oncologist tried everything and it was as though he had taken no medication at all, the pain was that bad. He was taking oral marijuana towards the end of his life and at times it was as though he was in la la land but a happy place, unfortunately it was only for a short period of time. If we would have known about the oil we would of tried that. Like I said, no pain medication in this world had any effect on him. He had nothing to lose. He was also seen by this gentleman's doctor in Iowa City. He was one of many in the quad cities and at Dana Farber in Boston that agree with a statement that was made that they should be studying this person. All cancer is bad but this particular one they know very little about and I believe they need to come up with better pain control. My husband died a very painful horrible death. So people, if this particular treatment works be grateful that it was discovered. I'm just saying.
  25. Duncan-20903
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    Duncan-20903 - September 30, 2013 12:42 am
    Wow, that's not only baseless, it's arrogant in the extreme. If you cared to visit reality you would find that we choose to enjoy cannabis because it enriches and enhances our lives. The absolute prohibition of cannabis is not only unjust, it's just plain wrong.
  26. SeveredCliche
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    SeveredCliche - September 29, 2013 7:42 pm
    "Marijuana is a plant and cannot be patented which mean no mega profits from cancer drugs and other drugs."
    Tell that to the pharma companies that produce opiates ;)
  27. Auddie
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    Auddie - September 29, 2013 7:31 pm
    I agree with you 100% Bohdi
  28. RevRayGreen
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    RevRayGreen - September 29, 2013 7:02 pm
    not in two states....
  29. Arc Angel
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    Arc Angel - September 29, 2013 6:26 pm
    Currently "pot, weed,THC " is illegal !
  30. Asylum
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    Asylum - September 29, 2013 4:37 pm
    You must hang out with some low-life's, if the only thing on their mind is smoking pot. You are older but sometimes I think you have no clue what medical pot can do for people. Someone I knew back in the 70's was smoking pot to relieve back chronic back pain, because it he could function, and be in control, than the heavy pain meds the doctor prescribed, when he did those, he was in la-la land, couldn't function, and this was before any state legalized medical pot.
  31. finch
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    finch - September 29, 2013 4:20 pm
    I doubt this version of the story.
  32. RevRayGreen
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    RevRayGreen - September 29, 2013 4:16 pm
    just say nope to FDA dope,,,,,live long oil vaporize or bong...
  33. senor citizen
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    senor citizen - September 29, 2013 3:34 pm
    FDA approval should be required. After all, I'd hate to think all the idiots I know who use pot weren't going to down grade their lives more that they have by making it legal.
  34. alanmonrovia
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    alanmonrovia - September 29, 2013 2:51 pm
    "His father retired after 22 years in the U.S. Army as a non-commissioned officer who used to catch soldiers smoking pot and throw them in jail."

    For all you drug warriors, let's hope you and your loved ones never need the help of this wonderful plant. Chances are you will.
  35. Auddie
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    Auddie - September 29, 2013 2:25 pm
    76% of doctors approve of medical marijuana for cancer pain & we're still wasting our tax dollars arresting terminally ill cancer patients.Wake up people.
  36. Bohdi1966
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    Bohdi1966 - September 29, 2013 1:19 pm
    I couldn't agree with you more on every point that you have made. Marijuana is a schedule one drug. Chemical, petroleum, and pharmaceutical companies lobbied our bought off politicians to eliminate hemp, cannabis, marijuana from being their competition.. Capitalism at it's finest. And no, we are not A FREE COUNTRY, try actually living like it is, you get a rude introduction by our militarized police force and militarized surveillance state. Oh, and the Dept. of Homeland security, because everyone is assumed to be a terrorist, you must prove that you are not now a days.
  37. ChamPain
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    ChamPain - September 29, 2013 1:13 pm
    Scott County Attorneys office should use discretion in what they prosecute, but they dont.

    I knew a younger guy years ago, prob around 2005, he was going to school to be a police officer. He was pulled over on a traffic violation and in the back seat of the kids car was an expandable baton. Kid worked as a security guard, however wasnt working at the time. DPD charged him with posession of a dangerous weapon. Attorneys office prosecuted him. Kid lost his job, stopped going to college to be a police officer.. they made a criminal out of someone who obviously wasnt one. There are plenty of real criminals out there, use discretion instead of wasting my tax dollars please!
  38. ChamPain
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    ChamPain - September 29, 2013 1:06 pm
    The war on marijuana does nothing but cost tax payers and create criminals. Legalize it, tax it... at a minimum legalize it for medical use...
  39. Bohdi1966
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    Bohdi1966 - September 29, 2013 12:59 pm
    Pretty much sums it up. When confronted with paying for his extremely high and extensive medical care they throw him out into the street. It is truly SICKENING and DISGUSTING. Law enforcement? Unbeknownst to the authorities, but through their heartless actions, this case will set the precedent in Iowa for medical marijuana. The Sheriff's dept. ought to be ashamed of themselves. A blatant violation of his constitutional, civil, and human rights. Eighth amendment, cruel and unusual punishment, because it wasn't just the financial aspect of the incarceration, they were making him suffer! Housing terminally ill cancer patients and then torturing them in a jail cell, real classy and professional Scott county Sheriff's dept, real pro's there. You should be SUED for MILLIONS. And no, you are not protect us from crime or criminals, just keeping a dying man from his medicine and inducing pain to a terminal cancer patient. DESPICABLE.
  40. finch
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    finch - September 29, 2013 12:07 pm
    It does seem to be the wrong people to spend our time and money prosecuting. How stupid. Once some sheriff's deputy put it into motion, it has grown into something ridiculous. The prosecutors have discretion for good reason. They should have used it, unless these people are selling or giving their pot to others for recreational use.
  41. Hawksfan23
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    Hawksfan23 - September 29, 2013 10:44 am
    Boy what a bunch of compassionate people at the Scott County Sheriff Department. Throw a guy in jail with a terminal illness, when he says he can't sleep because of the pain ignore him, then when you realize you might have to pay some of his medical bills, throw him out on the street to die a felon. Be proud of yourself Scott County's finest. I hope this makes national news.
  42. Kevin Hunt
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    Kevin Hunt - September 29, 2013 9:42 am
    Drug warriors have no compassion. Everyone involved in torturing this man deserve to be locked up in a cell with painful butt-tumors. Eff you, Scott County deputies!

    On Feb. 17, 2010, after reviewing testimony from four public hearings and reading through more than 10,000 pages of submitted material, members of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy unanimously voted to recommend that the Iowa legislature remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Iowa Controlled Substances Act. Source: "Iowa Board of Pharmacy recommends rescheduling marijuana". The Northern Iowan. 2010-02-22.
  43. RevRayGreen
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    RevRayGreen - September 29, 2013 9:17 am
    your a soul less SOB....
  44. atlasshrugged
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    atlasshrugged - September 29, 2013 7:50 am
    Dude, let's order a pizza....
  45. Bohdi1966
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    Bohdi1966 - September 29, 2013 7:48 am
    As a medical marijuana card holder in Arizona, I have to say this, WAKE UP IOWA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I thought it was interesting that when Mr. MacKenzie was deemed to sick and to COSTLY to incarcerate because the county would have to pay for his medical treatment, he was released without bond. But apparently he needs to be prosecuted for crimes because he is such a dangerous criminal. Marijuana is LEGAL in Colorado and Washington. And it is medicine in over half the United States. Illinois is now medical marijuana approved.. Why doesn't he just move to a state that allows medical marijuana.. This case will probably set a precedent in Iowa for the medical marijuana program. Go after some real criminals for God sake. Obviously if your not willing to incarcerate because you don't want to foot the medical bills, then why put him prison so taxpayers have to foot the bill? It is his medicine!
  46. Alice in Wonderland
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    Alice in Wonderland - September 29, 2013 7:20 am
    RevRay (and everyone else)...please also research the work done by Canadian nurse, Rene Caissie from 1920. She was offered a massive amount of money to turn the formula over and refused because the pharmaceutical companies would not agree to make the treatment FREE for everyone. They stopped any and all further efforts on her part to heal people.
  47. Alice in Wonderland
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    Alice in Wonderland - September 29, 2013 6:10 am
    With a governor like Branstad, no progress will be made here or even with hemp (which this very uneducated man calls a 'drug'). Due to the issues revolving around his son, he cowers from this subject.

    Marijuana is a plant and cannot be patented which mean no mega profits from cancer drugs and other drugs. The pharmaceutical companies care about profits only and they are the ones who fund the medical colleges.

    I do know someone cured from marijuana oil. She was being cooked with chemo and was failing quickly. They sought out someone with the oil and she is now quite healthy and alive. She would not be had she not taken these steps. And that was over 8 years ago.

    I find it maddening that there is a cure from this incredible plant and we are not allowed to have it. This is demented, twisted and very cruel. Shame shame shame on those who dominate control over this for their own evil profits. May karma strike them deeply down.

    "Educate yourselves. Educated people are very difficult to control." <Ron Paul. I urge everyone to look into Rick Simpon's work. Educate yourselves on the multitude of wonderful things this plant can do. Look into what hemp can do as well, including fuel and oil for our cars that would be affordable and easy to create. In a free country you would be able to choose between fossil fuel which is still over $3 per gallon or hemp fuel which would be around $1 per gallon, does not cause pollution, does not require anything from Monsanto to rape the earth and requires no harsh chemicals to spray the plant. It is plentiful in the production of it and is a superior rotation crop. But we don't live in a free country. If we did, people would not be dying needlessly and we would have fuel choices and so much, much more. I miss America.
  48. RevRayGreen
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    RevRayGreen - September 29, 2013 1:31 am
    I know many middle age cancer patients living longer due to using Rick Simpson Oil or various forms of cannabis oil with success....versus FDA dope.. Not guilty...the state of Iowa should be on trial for denying safe, effective medicine while hiding behind reefer sadness...
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