The history of Benton Mackenzie is an extraordinary and moving one. It’s all about serious disease which you cannot cure in any conventional way. Benton was suffering from cancer and he could’t count on any effective treatment besides the invasive surgeries. What’s enthralling, he was using a cannabis oil to deal with his condition, and that oil was all (or mostly) CBD, which was pretty unconventional choice as we are talking about methods of curing cancers. It’s important here to notice that most of the patients are using the preparations with a balanced rate of CBD and THC. Additionally, this story is also a thought-provoking one. Benton Mackenzie’s case is a pioneer proof that cancer might respond to pure CBD cannabis oil. Last but not least, it’s a hint on the absurdity and unfairness of the criminal justice system in Iowa state. Unfortunately, if you think that there’s no way to transform somebody into a criminal because he just wants to live, you’re obviously wrong.
Benton Mackenzie, a 48-years-old inhabitant of Iowa, was arrested for cultivating medicinal cannabis for his own purposes. In his state both possession and growing of marijuana is highly illegal. To understand the scale of this phenomenon you should know that Iowa and Nebraska has sued Colorado, claiming that it’s increasing drug trade and traffic on their territories. Despite the fact that Benton has claimed he was breaking a law for treating deadly (and extremely painful) cancer, he became a convicted. His future was not so bright - he barely had two options. First one: found guilty and get an extended prison verdict, which would be pretty much like a death sentence to him. Second one was quite a similar prospect, considering he was devoid of his salvific cannabis oil anyway. The case of Benton Mackenzie quickly became a leitmotif of marijuana activists’ banners.
Back in 2013, Scotty County lay judges presented their verdict. Benton Mackenzie was found guilty and convicted on four felony charges. The same offences concerned his closest family members: his wife and son. Such a sentence couldn’t stay unseen by national media, so Benton’s case has appeared in the news. A posteriori everyone knew, that he did what he did to hinder the growth of painful tumors located on his legs and a buttock. If he wouldn’t take benefits from cannabis oil qualities, they would pop up like mushrooms. Benton wasn’t cultivating marijuana for any recreational or business purposes and for anyone else except himself. But still - all forms of pot were (and still are) highly controversial and illegal, at least in Iowa state. Such situation could help a judge in swaying a jury, for example by suggesting that suspect was not confessing the real reasons of using a suspicious substance. It’s really important here to understand that Iowa law doesn’t allow cannabis using for any reason, neither recreational nor medical. That’s why Henry Latham judge could suppress such a line of defense. Nobody wanted to hear the most reasonable explaining, which was hold by defense attorneys and by the suspect alone.
But Benton Mackenzie wasn’t alone. The final ruling enraged some of the Iowans. They wanted to show his support to a convicted on as many ways as it was possible. For example, they’ve started to run a “Free Benton Mackenzie” fanpage on Facebook. In a few days it have mustered exactly 1,797 likes; now it has over 6,000 supporters. Later an ill, poor man confessed, that his sentence was probably clinched because of the judge’s ruling. It’s hard not to think about an alternate ending, which would have come true if the jurors have learned more about the whole cancer-tumor-and-terrible-condition thing. Benton Mackenzie was obliged to confess nothing but the truth, but he wasn’t allowed to confess the whole truth. He was petrified by this whole situation and by such a distortion of the justice. Many agree with convicted, that he was brutally used as an example to form a warning for the rest.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, Benton McKenzie had a prior history involving arrest and drug use problems. He was found guilty of the felony crimes twice, which means that in the light of Iowa law he could be considered as a habitual criminal. With sticked charges such offenders get minimum three-years prison sentence. Fortunately the prior sentences may have had some medical instances. The first drug conviction from 2000 concerned some unknown drug felony. In 2011 Benton Mackenzie with his beloved wife Loretta had been convicted for cultivating marijuana. They claimed it was only for medical reasons and for demanding treatment, but finally they pleaded guilty to drug accusations and received a suspended sentence.
As you might have guessed, Benton Mackenzie is dead now. What’s really tragic, his death started together with his trial. Because of all legal proceedings the patient couldn’t return to Oregon for his treatment, which was supposed to happen until the September of 2014. After that date he was no longer able to travel so far. We don’t know for sure how long he couldn’t use his salvific cannabis oil before his death. Reading Benton’s quotation, it is possible to conclude that it took only six weeks for tumors to escalate quickly and return in a most aggressive imaginable way. Considering that, it’s quite an impressive achievement - stemming the cancer for two previous years, fighting with it only with marijuana oil’s help.
This thought-provoking story of Benton Mackenzie should finally show the Iowans how much it’s still to be done. Now this state is ruled by some truly draconic laws. The bias and an insular way of thinking cannot longer decide about man’s life and death. State senator, Joe Bolkcom, who has earlier fought for legislation and legal admission of medicinal cannabis, has spoke in that matter and called the whole case a total waste of taxpayer money. There are probably many more Iowans who are illegally using marijuana for advanced disease to improve the low quality of their lives. Is a will to stay alive such a crime? Should treating ourselves by any reasonable source be still illegal? These are the questions we need to face as soon as it’s possible, cause there’s no doubt that Benton Mackenzie just wanted to stay alive.
These days approximately half of the states in the USA allow using medical cannabis. In three of them (and in the District of Columbia) it is possible to use marijuana for recreational reasons as well. In Iowa state there is only a one situation when you can reach for cannabis legally and its because of a quite new bill which has passed in 2015. This exceptional case is suffering from seizure disorders.
Do you want to find more about this case? Please read the following materials:
The secrets behind Mackenzie’s disease
Benton Mackenzie was a 42-year-old man when he has noticed a disturbing outgrowth on his buttock, but he received a startling diagnosis two years later. He found out that he’s suffering from angiosarcoma, which is rare but extraordinary lethal cancer. It turned out that it involves blood vessels. An angiosarcoma itself is an malignant neoplasm known for growing really quickly. It infiltrates cells from blood vessels and lines spaces filled with blood in an irregular way. The name of angiosarcoma concerns many malignant endothelial neoplasms. Such a creatures are highly aggressive, multicentric and they often spread widely after recurring only locally. Unfortunately, they’re connected with an incredibly high death rate.
These tumors have intrinsic biologic properties. One can easily misdiagnose them - that’s why all of poor prognosis are happening and why mortality rate is so enormous. As if this wasn’t bad enough, malignant vascular tumors are extremely difficult to treat. Angiosarcomas which are developing on various organs and sites of the body have their own distinct qualities. They may occur technically everywhere, but most of the times they attack skin ant soft tissue. They can also originate in the heart, breasts, spleen, bones or in the liver. What’s one of the most disturbing features, they have a high survival rate (for a 5-year period it’s around 20 percent).
About medical care, there are only a few options. First of all, one can try to treat such tumors through chemotherapy sessions. The truth is, many randomized studies has shown no survival advantage from neoadjuvant chemotherapy. That means the results are poor though toxicity is significant. Multiple specialists recommend to save chemotherapy method for people with high-grade growths and lesions. If a patient respond with angiosarcomas shrinkage, the regimen is continued, but this is supposed to happen after 2-3 sessions of mulitagent therapy (when the tumor is already after resection). There is also a second option - radiotherapy, but in most of the cases irradiation guarantee no improvement. We have to remember that approximately half of angiosarcomas evolve and expand into distant, pernicious metastases.
In case of the bone and soft-tissue angiosarcomas there is a need to implement further outpatient care. Most frequently (in 80% of cases to be strict) recurring neoplasms incubate within two years after the excision.That’s why the patients should follow their health up in a rigorous way - for the first two years they have to check-up every three months. hey should also decide on a chest radiograph every half of the year. If it reveals some suspicious lumps, they have to do a CT scan immediately to confirm they health state. One of the accurate techniques is also MRI. This baseline examination helps in detecting residual or locally recurrent sarcomas. And what if the worse 2-years term have already passed? Then the patient should schedule his visits every six months. After the next five years visiting doctor once per year is enough.
Which method of treating is the most effective one?
The short description presented above speaks for itself. Angiosarcoma cancer does not really respond neither for radiotherapy nor chemotherapy. To put it harshly, there isn't any easy way out from this illness. Oncologists can only move the tumor by a surgery and after removing it - just pray or cross their fingers. With no conventional, sure method in their hands, patients are forced to think about other measures. It turns out that cannabis oil is one of the things that can really help.
Let us think for the moment about Ben Mackenzie’s situation. If we were in his shoes, what would we do? Would we just lay in bed and wait for death? What’s the most important and crucial thing for a dying man - the law, which is obviously relative and not always reasonable, or a strong will to stay alive? Benton was forced to make a choice, a choice which is really hard to imagine for a healthy man. He wasn’t seeking salvation in marginally effective methods like chemotherapy. He stood for an unconventional, but paradoxically more reliable way out - he treated himself with an illegal substance. He was cultivating marijuana plants, juiced them freshly and made a home-made preparation wishing that it will cure his pain. And it was actually helping him, at least for a while.
Benton Mackenzie has traveled to Oregon with his wife and a grown son. They wanted to obtain some medicinal cannabis there. He could do that legally, cause he was one of the medical marijuana patients of program run in Oregon state. They were allowed to accept him as a member like anyone else from out of the state borders. Ben was deeply worried about his heart condition. Chemo session could ruin his already damaged health. To prevent it he was using a special marijuana preparation. His angiosarcoma tumor was as big as a golf ball, but after only two months of using a salvific cannabis oil it was visibly smaller. What’s understanding, he became a new man full of big hopes. He was continuing his marijuana therapy till June in 2013. After he got arrested, he dropped the idea of importing oil from Oregon and he started his own cultivation to save some money. As Benton told to the media, the oil was available only from time to time. His therapy was brutally interrupted, the tumor started regenerating and growing out. Within a few weeks, not even the two months, it was the size of a ripe grapefruit.
There is an interesting report published, which describes what exact medication did Benton Mackenzie used. There are some home-grown high-CBD strains (including Valentine X with a CBD-THC ratio equal 25:1). These cannabis varieties was helping Ben to hold the cancer at the Stage 1. Everything has changed after he got busted and imprisoned. Deprived of his one and only efficient treatment, his illness evolved to the Stage 4. This story seems like highly anecdotal one, but it also hides the powerful truth. First of all, the man has died because of an unfair law. Secondly, the curious case of Benton Mackenzie is a proof that the CBD cannabis oil has a power to prevent the growth of the angiosarcoma tumor.
The most thought-provoking part
Let’s try to learn something from this moving story. As you can probably see, CBD rich oil has helped Mackenzie staying in comparatively good condition. The same cannabis oil is available online in a huge amount of commercial sites. The aggressive, undefeated, unresponsive and deadly tumor wasn’t further advancing as it was before. It was not only stopped from developing, but also put into the remission phase.Yes, this story is anecdotal, but if there’s at least a bit of truth in it, it’s an educational and interpretive one too. Such an impressive response to a cannabis oil should be noticed and further tested. Think about it once again: nothing really was helpful to Ben, all he did was waiting for death, but he found out that a cannabis oil is reducing his growth size. He needed many plants to obtain it by a complex, advanced method. Unfortunately, the judgment assumed he needed 71 plants to made a dark business somewhere in the netherworld.
Look at the way in which the cancer have returned. The tumor didn’t need a lot time. After just six weeks without cannabis it became enormous again. It’s both shocking and astonishing, isn’t it? But there’s also a promise hiding in that story. Maybe the scientists are wrong and there actually is an effective treatment for an angiosarcoma? Maybe it’s not 100% efficacious, but if it helped Ben, it may help some other people as well. It’s really hard to understand why the prosecutors from Iowa were so stubborn within their set of believes. You can’t be also sincerely surprised that the members of Mackenzie family were calling them “cruel” and “cold-hearted”.
The trial of Benton Mackenzie was present in the national news and it went viral on the internet. People were both marveled and outraged about how he wasn’t permitted to tell the jury the whole truth about his illness. If he had confessed to the jurors that he was having cancer and he needed those 71 plants deeply just to make a little amount of the powerful cannabis oil, things could go really different. Once again: he used the oil to treat his tumor, not to take some business profit. Well, finally Ben and his wife received leniency (3 years of probation), but it was too late. The legal wrangling closed the door on travel to Oregon, put the mockers on continuing treatment and condemned Benton to death. If it isn’t thought-provoking, nothing is.
There are multiple unanswered questions floating around this case. How much of oil did the patient needed? How did he dosing his portions of cannabis preparation? Finally - what about the rest of cannabinoids used in that oil? Benton Mackenzie might be a first man in a world history who slowed down his tumor because of CBD oil. Ben was realistic about the future, but he was considering moving to Oregon state though it was rather dark. His tumors were spreading, they burst open from time to time. He was hospitalized at his home. He was fighting hard till the very end. ‘If it kills me, it will open a lot of eyes” - he said once. Benton Mackenzie passed after losing his battle against angry cancer. Hope his fight wasn’t for nothing. Perhaps the state will become more aware of the the actual problems and will open to allowing medical marijuana program. Legalization is a distant dream, but it should be also considered. Too bad, that Brendon’s self-treatment didn’t end with scientific studies instead of prosecution and death.