Woman arrested for CBD oil at Walt Disney World demands apology
A 69-year-old woman is demanding an apology for her arrest at a Walt Disney World security checkpoint last month after a guard found CBD oil while searching her purse.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A 69-year-old woman is demanding an apology for her arrest at a Walt Disney World security checkpoint last month after a guard found CBD oil while searching her purse.
Hester Burkhalter has hired high-profile attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented Trayvon Martin’s family.
Crump said Tuesday that Disney World and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office “need to take responsibility for their actions” or he will file a lawsuit on the North Carolina woman’s behalf, alleging violations of her civil rights.
The sheriff’s office said in an emailed statement that the arrest was lawful. Disney said in an emailed statement the incident was a law enforcement matter.
Prosecutors dropped a drug charge against Burkhalter, saying it wasn’t suitable for prosecution.
The oil is extracted from marijuana plants but doesn’t produce a high.
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Woman in Disney CBD Oil Arrest: Body-Cam Video Proves Wrongful Arrest
ORLANDO, Fla. — The woman arrested last month at Disney World after security found CBD oil in her purse says body-camera footage further supports her claim that she was wrongfully arrested.
- Body-cam footage of Disney World CBD oil arrest released
- Attorneys: video supports her claim she was wrongfully arrested
- Deputies tested CBD oil twice with marijuana drug test kit
- Body Cam Footage Shows Arrest of Grandmom at Disney Over CBD Oil
- Grandmom Demands Apology From Disney, Deputies Over CBD Oil Arrest
Deputy-worn body-cam video released Wednesday shows the moments on April 15 when Hester Burkhalter, 69, of Hickory, North Carolina, was arrested outside the Magic Kingdom during what she said was a weeklong vacation.
Burkhalter says her doctor in North Carolina recommended she use CBD oil to treat arthritis symptoms. THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets you “high.” CBD oil normally doesn’t contain THC.
In Florida, it’s illegal to possess CBD oil without a prescription. Burkhalter said she has one.
In the footage, an Orange County deputy is heard saying, “If it doesn’t test positive for THC, then she can have it back.”
Deputies tested her oil with a marijuana test kit after she was stopped by Disney security.
“This does not contain THC. This is not criminal. It is not criminal to have that,” someone on the video is heard saying.
But despite finding the oil to be legal, they tried to test it again.
This is where Burkhalter attorney Michelle Rayner-Goolsby says they showed their true intentions.
“At that point that it did not come back positive for THC, you needed to allow her to go back into the park and enjoy this trip with her family,” Rayner-Goolsby said. “But for whatever reason, they were hell bent on arresting her, arresting somebody, that day.”
The Sheriff’s Office soon dropped charges against Burkhalter.
She and her attorneys originally asked for an apology from Walt Disney World and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, but they’re now pushing to get access to the full, unedited body-camera video.
The Sheriff’s Office told Spectrum News that it can’t comment because of the pending litigation.