New prison at Fort Madison Iowa

New prison at Fort Madison Iowa

Not the “field of dreams” image we all want for Iowa?  Will adding to the state’s prison capacity, create an urgency to fill the vacancies?

 A dying Iowan who claims he grew marijuana to treat a painful cancer faces a possible prison sentence. In what Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City calls “waste of taxpayer money”, Scott County jurors delivered a guilty verdict on four felony drug charges facing Benton Mackenzie, 48, whose wife and son were also convicted alongside him.  So will we waste more money by sending this family to prison?

The prosecutor points the finger at the State House, saying it’s his job to enforce the laws as written.  It’s not the fault of the jury, who were never told about the cancer which was irrelevant in the eyes of the law.  Certainly the judge has to follow the law.  How about the police who could have looked the other way focusing on public safety issues instead.  Or was there a complainant who could have kept his mouth shut?  This question hits close to home, as I recommended marijuana to my cousin while he was dying of cancer in California.  He could have done it legally there, but would I have been less compassionate had he lived in Iowa?  I’ll never tell!

Tell us what you think and visit the “Free Benton Mackenzie” Facebook page.