A 69-year-old great-grandmother was arrested at a Disney World checkpoint by an Orange County deputy that found CBD oil in her purse. While the Farm Bill legalized CBD at the federal level in December 2018, the Florida Legislature has not yet removed the product from its state controlled substances list. Coincidentally, a bill was passed just two weeks ago is on Governor Ron DeSantis’s desk that, if signed, will legalize hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD, effective July 1, 2019.
Not surprisingly given the circumstances, the Orange County prosecutors have indicated they do not intend to pursue charges against the woman arrested, Hester Jordan Burkhalter. In fact, Ms. Burkhalter is threatening to sue Disney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for illegal detainment, false imprisonment, defamation of character, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of her civil rights. She has retained Ben Crump to represent her, a civil rights attorney known for representing the family of Trayvon Martin.
Stories like this show the continued absurdity of the federal/state split. For marijuana, it is illegal at the federal level, but legal in several states. For hemp, it is the reverse; it is legal at the federal level, but illegal in several states. That confusion is how a great-grandmother simply trying to enjoy a family trip to Disney World ends up being arrested and spending 12 hours in jail.