Local cancer patient and family found guilty of marijuana charges

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A local cancer patient and his family, whose explanation for growing and using marijuana were not allowed as evidence, were found guilty of drug charges in Scott County Court.

Benton and Loretta Mackenzie and their son, Cody, faced charges after 71 marijuana plants were seized by police in May 2013.  Mackenzie admitted in testimony Tuesday, July 3, 2014, that the plants were his.

Mackenzie claimed he grew the plants to harvest cannabis oil to treat pain he suffers from terminal cancer.  Judge Henry Latham ruled Mackenzie's reasons for growing the plants were not admissible as evidence in the trial.

A Scott County jury convicted Benton and Loretta Mackenzie each of manufacturing marijuana, conspiracy, violation of the drug tax stamp act and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Scott County Attorney Mike Walton.

Cody Mackenzie was convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, Walton said.

"After the verdict, Mackenzie stipulated that he has been twice before convicted of drug felonies. In 2011 both Benton and Loretta Mackenzie were convicted of Possession with Intent to Deliver. They were on probation for those charges when charged with the current charges. In 2000 Benton Mackenzie was convicted of Possession with Intent to Deliver," Walton said.

Mackenzie faces mandatory prison time for the conviction.  Sentencing was reportedly set for August 28, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.


  • wow

    That is terrible how these monsters railroaded this poor dying man! I hope they have to endure the same pain as he is going through right now. May they rot in hell! I thought America was the land of the free, and we have a right to free speech. I guess if your speech is hurtful to the state you are no longer free to use it.

    • Sammirah Meowski

      Oh get real, 71 plants is way more than just personal use, even if just for the oil. Shame on them for using his illness as a scapegoat for being drug dealers.

  • Pam Letsch

    I do not smoke- -pot or cigarettes- -but I don’t understand what the big deal is about growing a medicinal plant for medicinal purposes!!! Leave this poor man and his family alone and go after the thugs and drug dealers on the streets!

  • Mary Jo

    All I say is we all have to answer to the same God when it’s our time may he have mercy on this judge because he showed no mercy on this man .He wasn’t given a fair and just trial.

  • jrandl

    Its all just another a big racketeering Sham by an incompetent government to steal your money and get you addicted or (Obligated ) to this pack of thugs, They have stole our country and your helping them, As long as they can keep the kids home from school all doped up and the parents doped up and not working thr plan is working.

  • jrandl

    Its also comes to my attention that these people who go to marijuana as a pain killer is all they can afford as a last resort. Have you saw the prices this so called health care system charges for pain killers. They drive you to marijuana or a bullet which they have made illegal to, or what ever you can afford. What choice do we have if thr are no jobs.This whole country is being blackmailed by our own government. People dont think about thr jobs anymore Thr forced to think about health insurance.and nothing else.

  • Ralph

    great comments from all who have posted below me…the judge basically has given this man a death sentence, and if they throw him in prison who then is paying for his medical attention, we the tax payer are, Let him take care of himself at a cheaper cost to all concerned.

  • jrandl


    • WendyWhiner

      Excellent point, Cyndi! I may be wrong on this, but it would seem that most potential jurors still believe that marijuana manufacture/possession should be illegal. Though most people sympathize with Mr. Mackenzie, the jury was not allowed to hear about his illness and his intention to use the marijuana medicinally. I firmly believe that had they been given that information, the outcome of all this would’ve been very different. I encourage everyone to read the link you posted. Knowledge is power. Always!

      • Cyndi Roberts

        Yeah, that propensity to believe that manufacture/possession SHOULD be illegal? It’s called indoctrination. It has no basis in fact or individual research of the subject, just an idea people have had hammered into their brains since reefer madness. Think about the legality of cigarettes for a minute. Proven deadly, yet perfectly legal and widely accepted for decades. Again, indoctrination. Marijuana’s medicinal qualities are still pretty anecdotal but how many deaths do you know of that were a direct result of its use/abuse? It’s ludicrous that this is even a conversation, let alone in response to what has happened to this family.

  • suzi

    71 plants do not make a lot of weed honey and when u are in horrible pain 24 hours a day you can smoke a plant a day and really how long does it take to grow a plant………..think about it ….. no one has the right to judge him look in your own closets before you start saying THINK NOT!! you have no idea the extent of this mans pain and truly sounds like you are experienced in the amount of weed 71 plants will produce…………hmmmm something to think about you just gave yourself away……ha ha!!!

  • Lindsay M

    This guy needs moved to the other side of the river or to Colorado even if it is just temporary so that he can get the care he needs without being harassed unfortunately its probably too late. I am guessing with the conviction he cant leave the state.

  • marki

    That is terrible!!! Every state is considering legalizing it and decriminalizing. The prosecutors are just trying to get their cases in before their state does!!! they are horrible people and “what goes around comes around” shame on all involved in putting this poor guy through this. I hope his town protests if they sentence him to jail!!! this is a case to fight for!!!!

  • Bonnie Stilson

    Shame on them, they need to go through what he is, even if it’s long enough to let them know the pain. Leave him alone, what is wrong with you people? May God Bless this man and his supporting family and friends. Including all in here that have tried to speak up for him-God Bless you all!

  • Bob

    Fire this Judge. He is basing his findings on his personal beliefs and not facts or law. To top it off I bet this A88hole Judge claims to be a Christian.

  • Angie Khavos

    Does anyone actually read or think before they speak? I’m taking to the people who think he used a bong or that he smoked it. The man stated he grew it for the oils, it’s even written in this article: “Mackenzie claimed he grew the plants to harvest cannabis oil to treat pain he suffers from terminal cancer.” And if you did any more research on this case, you would have learned that he turns it into a lotion and how horrid his cancer, Angiosarcoma, truly is. Shame on you people for trying to defend the judge, who barred him and his entire family from saying anything about why he grew it. I can understand the jury due to the judge’s perversion of justice, but you people who are getting this after the fact’s been stated and still agree with the judge, you should be completely ashamed of yourselves!

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