Benton Mackenzie is suffering from terminal angiosarcoma, an aggressive variety of cancer that has left his body mottled with grotesque lesions. In the hope of enjoying what remains of his life, the 48-year-old Iowa resident has grown marijuana in order to distill cannabis oil to treat his condition. When this became known to the local Prohibition soviet, police raided his home, stole 71 marijuana plants, and arrested Mackenzie and his wife on “drug conspiracy” charges.
Yesterday, as Mackenzie was scheduled to testify in the Vyshinskyite farce called his “trial,” he was incapacitated by pain and hallucinations and had to be rushed to the hospital. This development will not deter or delay the functionaries in charge of the proceedings, who insist that they will wrap things up by Friday. District Court Judge Henry Latham and Assistant Scott County District Attorney Patrick McAlyea have conspired (no other word is suitable) to suppress any mention of Mackenzie’s condition as a defense for his actions, contending that Iowa statutes only permit the use of cannabis oil for treatment of “intractable epilepsy.”
It is not an exaggeration to say that those officials are doing everything they can to extract the last full measure of agony from a desperate, dying, and helpless man who has done no injury to anybody. In their casual depravity and genteel sadism can be seen the true nature of the entity called the “State.”
Mr. Mackenzie is going to die, and his persecutors want to ensure that he will die as a convicted “criminal” for the supposed offense of claiming ownership over his life and doing what little he can to enjoy what remains of it. His wife, son, parents, and childhood friend are likewise facing “conspiracy” charges for the crime of rendering compassionate care in a fashion not authorized by the State.
The holy cause of drug prohibition requires this ritual sacrifice as an object lesson regarding the evils of indulging in substances banned by those who presume to rule us.