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Man Denied Cancer as Defense in Drug Case

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- An eastern Iowa man will not be allowed to use his rare cancer as a defense when he faces an upcoming trial on charges in a marijuana-growing case.

Benton Mackenzie says he used the 71 marijuana plants confiscated from his parents' Long Grove home last summer to make cannabis oil to treat his angiosarcoma. The condition is a cancer of the blood vessels that cause bleeding skin lesions.   

The Quad-City Times reports that a Scott County District judge has ruled he won't allow Mackenzie to use his ailment as a defense, saying there is no state law allowing such a defense.   

On Friday, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill legalizing cannabis oil for the treatment of epileptic seizures -- but the law makes no mention of Mackenzie's condition.

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