Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jul 2013
Source: Sentinel-Record, The (AR)
Copyright: 2013 The Associated Press
Author: Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press


LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The president of an Arkansas conservative group 
that campaigned against legalizing medical marijuana said Friday that 
he agreed not to refer in certain ways to machines that dispense the 
drug in order to settle a lawsuit.

Medicine Dispensing Systems Inc., which makes the machines, had sued 
Jerry Cox and the Family Council Action Committee over comments he 
made about the machines last year at a news conference. U. S. 
District Judge James Moody dismissed the lawsuit Wednesday after the 
two sides reached an agreement.

Cox, who declined to describe the specific terms of the settlement, 
said he and the committee agreed they wouldn't refer to the machines 
in certain ways. He said the group did not pay any money to settle the suit.

"At the end of the day this will not affect our ability to oppose any 
efforts to legalize marijuana in Arkansas," Cox said. "The agreement 
is narrow enough that we have plenty of leeway to talk about the 
issue of medical marijuana."

Moody's one-page order did not include any details on the settlement. 
MDS officials and their attorney did not immediately return messages 
for comment Friday.

Cox made the comments about the machine at a news conference where he 
and others were campaigning against a medical marijuana legalization 
measure. Standing next to a cardboard cutout of a Medbox machine made 
by the company, Cox said similar machines could be placed at 
convenience stores if medical marijuana was legalized. Voters 
rejected the legalization measure in November.

MDS accused Cox of defaming the company and its machines with 
statements that included comparing them to vending machines that 
offer snacks. MDS said its machines are found in hospitals, 
pharmacies and doctor's offices and identifies authorized users 
through key cards and fingerprints.

At least two groups are trying to put medical marijuana legalization 
measures before Arkansas voters next year, but neither group has been 
given initial approval to begin gathering the signatures needed to 
win a spot on the ballot.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom