The family of a Davenport-area man who was at the center of Iowa’s medical marijuana debate is now mourning his death. Forty-nine year-old Benton Mackenzie died Monday of cancer at his parents’ Long Grove home. Mackenzie made national news when he fought Scott County in court over his efforts to grow marijuana for his use as a medicine.
Jurors were not allowed to hear any testimony about his health and convicted him and his wife and son of manufacturing marijuana. Mackenzie and his wife were sentenced to three years of probation. Their son received a suspended sentence.
The family is appealing the convictions. Before his illness, Mackenzie was known for putting on a Scottish kilt and playing bagpipes to honor firefighters and veterans on various occasions, including September 11th.
(Reporting by Phil Roberts, Davenport)