Dying Man Deserves Help from Governor, Iowan Demands


Benton Mackenzie testifies at his drug trial. (WQAD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa–A Libertarian candidate in Iowa has targeted Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for refusing, at least so far, to pardon a terminally ill man with cancer recently convicted on drug charges. Jake Porter, a candidate for secretary of state, wants Branstad, a Republican, to get involved with the case of Benton Mackenzie.

Porter sent out a series of tweets on Twitter calling on Branstad to take action.

Mackenzie, 48,  has stage 4 cancer. Wednesday, a Scott County court found him guilty on drug charges, along with his wife and son. Mackenzie argued he grew marijuana as a way to help him deal with his cancer. He wanted to extract the cannabis oil from the marijuana to deal with the plan caused by an aggressive tumor on his buttock, Mackenzie said.

Mackenzie’s health is so serious that he is in hospice care. He said the drug conviction, his third, would be a “death sentence.”

The Mackenzies face an August 28th sentencing.

Iowa lawmakers passed a change to the law last session that allows cannabis oil to be used for children with epilepsy, but it does not provide an exemption for people with cancer.



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