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Iowa man may attempt medical marijuana defense

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Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 3:37 pm | Updated: 3:41 pm, Sun Sep 29, 2013.

The criminal case against an eastern Iowa man for growing marijuana highlights the arguments for the medical use of marijuana.

Scott County prosecutors say 47-year-old Benton Mackenzie is a drug dealer who had 71 marijuana plants in his house.

But Mackenzie suffers from terminal cancer and says he relies on marijuana to treat his illness.

A court is scheduled to decide next month whether Mackenzie broke Iowa law by growing marijuana in his parents’ house.

Mackenzie, who is representing himself, will likely try to argue that he needs the drug for treatment. But Iowa isn’t one of the 20 states that have legalized medical use of marijuana.

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