By Jake Porter
Sunday, July 20, 2014
There is a growing movement in Iowa for Governor Terry Branstad to pardon Benton Mackenzie, a dying cancer patient who was arrested for growing marijuana to produce cannabis oil, which is legal for children with epilepsy to use in Iowa, but not legal for 48 year old Angiosarcoma cancer patients like Benton. Since Mackenzie has stopped using his cannabis oil over a year ago, his health has rapidly deteriorated as can clearly be seen by the before and after photos of him.
The police, based on audio interviews conducted at the time of the raid on the Mackenzie family, knew that Benton Mackenzie was a cancer patient and not a drug dealer. They also allegedly made it impossible for him to leave the state to seek medical treatment. Think of how much time and money was diverted from investigating real crimes that have a victim such as murder, rape, and child molestation to prosecute the Mackenzie family. Of course, the Mackenzie family shouldn’t be expected to leave Iowa even if the state of Iowa allowed them to. Would these same officers have expected Rosa Parks to move to another city because of an ignorant law? I would hope not.
Obviously, Benton Mackenzie shouldn’t have been charged. It diverted our tax dollars that should have been used to prosecute violent criminals. That being said, Governor Branstad is largely responsible for Benton Mackenzie being prosecuted. After all, it was Governor Branstad that made sure medical marijuana for patients such as Benton would not be made legal often warning about unintended consequences. Of course, we can now see the unintended consequence of not passing reasonable medical marijuana legislation, that polls indicate 81% of Iowan’s support, is that a family has had their lives ruined by the state of Iowa and Benton Mackenzie may very well die in a prison.
Governor Branstad has the power to announce he will pardon Benton Mackenzie. His office says that they have to wait until sentencing to issue a pardon, but that is not being honest about what the Governor can do. Governor Branstad can announce a pardon at anytime and make it official after sentencing. Governor Branstad, who has pardoned several pigs and turkeys in ceremonies doesn’t have the leadership to pardon a dying cancer patient being sentenced because of bad government laws.
Governor Branstad, I beg your pardon. When the state of Iowa murders cancer patients to protect them from themselves we have a real problem and the time to stand up against the big government nanny state is now. I do not want to see my tax dollars go to incarcerate the Mackenzie family and possibly murder a dying man by taking his medication away.