An ordinary 69-year-old made headlines last week when news broke of her recent arrest at Walt Disney World for CBD possession.
The great-grandmother, Hester Burkhalter, was arrested at the beginning of what she thought was a long-awaited family vacation to the incredibly popular theme park. Even though the CBD in her purse was doctor-recommended, she spent 12 hours in jail after being picked up by Orlando Sheriff’s deputies. Now, she’s suing the county for damages.
According to reporting from NBC affiliate WESH, Burkhalter is suing the Orlando Sheriff’s Department and Disney for wrongful imprisonment, defamation and civil rights violations.
Their reporting shows Burkhalter claims she was “made to feel like a criminal” even though her CBD oil, which was Select CBD brand, had no THC content at all. 
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Burkhalter hired the Florida lawyer who represented Trayvon Martin’s family during one of the most contentious cases of recent memory, Ben Crump. 
“Talk about all the questions that the eight and 10-year-old son and daughter had while Mickey Mouse was arresting grandma,” Attorney Ben Crump said at a press conference held with Burkhalter on Tuesday. 
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the sheriff’s office hasn’t received a formal notice from Crump, and hasn’t been able to comment on the specifics of the case. A Disney spokesperson said the issue should be left to law enforcement. 
The initial charge against Burkhalter for possession of hashish was dropped by the sheriff’s department, even though CBD is illegal in Florida. Stores sell it there, regardless of the current standing law.
You can read all about Burkhalter’s original arrest through reporting at the Nothing But Hemp blog by following the link below. 
The woman had been planning her trip to the theme park with family for the past two years, and understandably being arrested for a seemingly innocuous hemp extract at the gate was certainly a shock to Burkhalter’s system.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that even though the charges against her were dropped, she wasn’t able to return to Disney to retrieve her personal belongings, instead waiting hours into the night for her husband to bring them to her. 
“Where’s your decency? Where’s your common sense?” Crump said at the press conference Tuesday. “Is this how you are going to treat people when they come to the happiest place on Earth?”