Great-Grandma Arrested at Disney World for Having CBD Oil She Uses to Treat Arthritis
Hester Jordan Burkhalter spent the day in jail after she was charged with possession of hashish in Orange County, Florida, April 15.
A 69-year-old great-grandmother whose doctor suggested she use CBD oil to alleviate pain was arrested for carrying it at Disney World during a trip she and her family had planned for two years.
Hester Jordan Burkhalter had scrimped and saved to spend April 15 at the happiest place on Earth, but instead she spent it in jail after she was charged with possession of hashish in Orange County, Florida, The News & Observer wrote.
Her arrest came after an Orange County sheriff’s deputy discovered CBD oil in her purse at a checkpoint to enter the Orlando theme park, authorities said.
Burkhalter had begun using the oil to lessen the pain caused by her arthritis at her doctor’s recommendation, which he also put in writing, she said.
“I have really bad arthritis, in my legs, in my arms and in my shoulder and I used it for the pain, because it helps,” Burkhalter told WOFL-TV.
CBD, or cannabinol, is an extract from cannabis and has been found to have medicinal properties. It does not make the user “high,” unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, another extract found in the same plant that is the active agent in marijuana, authorities say.
Burkhalter’s container of peppermint CBD oil apparently noted it had 0 milligrams of THC, but tests run by the deputy allegedly found the oil contained traces of THC.
Though Congress last year removed hemp and extracts such as CBD from the federal list of illegal drugs, Florida has not yet signed the newly passed legislation.
Burkhalter was released from jail on $2,000 bond after 12 hours. She told WOFL-TV the experience was hard to fathom.
“I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t understand it,” Burkhalter said, adding she doesn’t feel she’s done anything wrong. “. I’ve never had but one speeding ticket in my life. I’ve never been in a jailhouse.”
The charges against Burkhalter were ultimately dropped, but the sheriff’s office said the arresting deputy was following the law when he took her into custody.
Grandmother sues Disney World for millions after CBD oil arrest
ORLANDO, Fla. – A grandmother who was arrested outside Walt Disney World is suing the happiest place on earth with the help of a well-known attorney.
Hester Burkhalter, 69, was arrested in April after Disney security found a bottle of CBD oil while searching her purse at a security checkpoint.
According to TMZ, civil rights attorney Ben Crump just filed a lawsuit against Disney, the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on behalf of Burkhalter.
Crump is most notably known for representing the family of George Floyd. Floyd was an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis who was killed by a police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life.
The TMZ report reads, According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Hester says she was arrested and detained by cops at Disney World in April 2019 — even though she claims the CBD oil was purely for medical purposes related to her arthritis and didn’t contain THC.
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers of marijuana plants, but it doesn’t produce a high. Burkhalter said she had a doctor’s note saying it was prescribed for her arthritis.
Burkhalter went on to state that she panicked while being placed in the back of a police car and began vomiting. She claims that she was denied medical attention and subjected to a miserable 15-hour ordeal.
The grandmother added that she was humiliated because the officers allegedly made her strip down at the jail to be searched.
In the suit, Burkhalter is alleging assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, defamation and emotional distress among many others, according to Crump’s law firm.
She is requesting more than $18 million in damages plus additional damages for her husband and other family members who were vacationing at the theme park with her.
In May, all charges against the grandmother were dropped after prosecutors said that the case against Burkhalter wasn’t suitable for prosecution.