Earlier this month, a 69-year-old woman was arrested at a Disney World security checkpoint after an Orange County police officer found CBD oil in her purse. This incident resulted in the arthritic great-grandmother spending more than 12 hours behind bars before being released on a $2,000 bond. Incidents such as this continue to bring attention to the murky waters that make up the Sunshine State’s position on CBD oil.
Hester Jordan Burkhalter, a great-grandmother from North Carolina, has retained the legal services of famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. Crump has been at the center of several high-profile news stories in recent years to include representing the families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. Burkhalter has also retained the legal services of Michele Rayner-Goolsby, the founder and principal attorney of Civil Liberty Law.
The arrest that took place at Disney World on May 7th, was a direct result of the confusion that surrounds Florida’s position on CBD oil. Despite that fact that CBD oil is sold in a variety of stores across the state, CBD oil is only legal in the state of Florida when the user has a prescription. Burkhalter even had a medical note from her primary care physician in her possession at the time of arrest.
Another lawyer representing Burkhalter named Jennifer Synnamon said “I’m very disappointed that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office handled the situation the way they did. Why Sheriff Mina would support his deputies using their resources for a CBD oil arrest of a 69-year-old woman, but then won’t do anything about the gas stations, health food stores, drug stores, etc. that are selling it to the open public is absolutely beyond my comprehension. The State of Florida finds nothing wrong with collecting the sales tax on illegal products, by they allow prosecution for possession the same. I want to commend Aramis Ayala’s office for reviewing the case and swiftly determining that they would not prosecute.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement: “This was a lawful arrest, as possession of CBD oil is currently a felony under Florida State Statute and deputies are responsible for enforcing Florida law and Orange County ordinances. Although CBD oil is illegal without a prescription, our top drug enforcement priority and focus at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is to get deadly drugs, like heroin and fentanyl, off the streets of our community”