The Worst of Iowa

Wife and son at his bedside

Benton Mackenzie, 48, was convicted in Iowa district court jury of marijuana manufacturing and conspiracy, along with his wife, Loretta, 43, the Quad-City Times’ Brian Wellner first reported. Their son Cody, 22, was found guilty of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Benton Mackenzie, who had been barred by Judge Henry Latham from a defense that explains he grew cannabis to relieve his aggressive and rare cancer of the blood vessels, faces a minimum of three years in prison when he is sentenced later. His family said they intend to appeal the verdicts. Mackenzie said prison may kill him as his health worsens.

Benton Mackenzie is dead.

He should forever be remembered for the way he chose to live, pushing against Iowa’s ancient marijuana laws and a local prosecutor’s unyielding pursuit of a conviction, certainly not justice. Mackenzie chose to use his final days to force Iowans – and all Americans – to stare down hypocrisy and discover how Iowa and Scott County squandered taxpayer money to assure he left this world convicted and impoverished. (qctimes)

Iowa prosecutors hounded and convicted a suffering cancer patient right to the end of his life for the diabolical ‘crime’ of trying to treat his painful tumors with home grown marijuana.  

Show of Farce

About those tumors: 

Benton Mackenzies Tumors

What kind of barbarians have the people in Iowa become since I left there in 1976?

Why would any rational person go out of their way to commit an act of inhumanity this great against a sick and dying man?  When I visited Iowa late last year, I noted that there were so many meth heads roaming the streets it looked like a casting call for Breaking Bad and yet the police and prosecutors are wasting time and tax dollars chasing after terminally ill pot smokers. Not all the pigs in Iowa are in hog containment facilities.  Some of them are running roughshod through the halls of their government offices.

Facebook memorial

Previous Huffpo article.

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Final Farewell to Fort Dodge

Although it had been my intention to regain residence in the state of Iowa and live in the city from which I graduated high school (with honors) back in 1976, the cards were stacked heavily against me. Due to the fact that I have been living in Germany for over five years, my US driver’s license was expired and of no use.  Add to that the serendipitous ‘luck’ of escaping my Nazi (no hyperbole) mother-in-law in Germany on the LAST day before my passport expired and you have the stuff of Kafkaesque nightmares. This led to a situation where I arrived into the state of Iowa with absolutely NO current ID. I imagine the Iowa DMV is overwhelmed with fake passports that are two days past expiration, such is the ease of duplicating the document.  After all, who doesn’t know at least half a dozen folks running around Iowa trying to pass themselves off as somebody else using a “potentially” forged passport just slightly out of expiration?  It’s likely just as common as tits on a pumpkin.

“Welcoming” Platitudes Were as Abundant on the numbered waiting slip at the DMV as they were about the house at my sister’s place of residence.

There were many attempts to rectify this less than fortuitous situation.  More than one of my friends back home got a front row seat to the ridiculousness as well as my personal angst and disgust which I was unable to suppress while getting involved in trying to help me solve this dilemma.

It turns out that the only quick resolution to my ‘illegal alien’ status is a trip to the New Orleans passport office, the ONLY place in the USA where this can be handled in a timely fashion:

Updated and edited to add: ONLY IF YOU HAVE A TICKET LEAVING THE US IN THE NEXT TEN DAYS, a little something I had forgotten about and which added another degree of difficulty to my life a short while down the road.

Me and my trusty companion Bandit are off to the gulf coast for the purpose of proving that I am not a foreign terrorist or Mexican immigrant.  With my passport in hand I will be able to regain some semblance of a normal life in the US (bank account, driver’s license, job….).  I’m glad to have found a quick course to the resolution of my troubles and a return to a normal life in the US, even as I’m painfully aware that there may never be a return to ‘normalcy’ for the ‘family’ I left behind in Iowa.

It’s a sad situation when the Iowa Department of Motor vehicles isn’t even allowed to check the Fort Dodge Senior High 1976 yearbook or accept the dozens of signed affidavits on my identity that I’m sure I could have collected from my many friends there in the city in order to ‘prove’ my identity, but we must remain HYPER vigilant against the communist ..err…Muslim threat.

I would have liked to open a business (or two or three) in Fort Dodge and maybe even paying some heavy taxes to help rebuild the blighted areas, but such is life.  I doubt I’ll ever move back to Iowa after the fiasco I endured, unless I get a penchant for frostbite or pick up a really heavy methamphetamine habit.

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Quick News Carousel

Second edition in the recently launched series of my “quick news” carousel collection.  Pause the slideshow and peruse at your own pace.

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Change You Can’t Believe In

A lab that tests medical marijuana for dispensaries and patients said Thursday it was raided by federal drug agents and ordered to turn over patient records.

Back in the ‘good old days’….
Supporters of programs to provide legal marijuana to patients with painful medical conditions are celebrating Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement this week that the Drug Enforcement Administration would end its raids on state-approved marijuana dispensaries.
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Medical Miracles

This is gonna piss off a lot of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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