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Great-grandma with arthritis arrested for having CBD oil sues Disney, sheriff's office

The then 69-year-old woman was using the CBD oil to treat her advanced arthritis.
Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Office

ORLANDO, Fla. — A great-grandmother who was arrested at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom after she was found with CBD oil filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company. 

Attorney Ben Crump says he is representing Hester Burkhalter, a then 69-year-old great-grandmother, who was arrested after she laid her purse on a table for inspection and a security worker found CBD oil inside.

At the time, she was charged with possession of hashish, a charge which has since been dropped. Crump says she was using the CBD oil, per her doctor's orders, to treat advanced arthritis.

Crump says Burkhalter was wrongfully arrested and taken into custody.

Burkhalter spent 12 hours in jail before she was released on bond. 

During a news conference on Wednesday, Crump said Burkhalter provided security with her purse and told them about the CBD oil and her doctor's note. Crump said the woman was denied medical attention when she said she needed it.

Her attorney said the case illustrates that "Disney World lacks two things: common sense and common dignity."

Crump said Disney employees separated her from her family and she did not seem them again for 15 hours. And, the attorney said Burkhalter suffered a panic attack and was strip-searched.

"We have given Disney and the Orange County Sheriff's Office several opportunities to apologize," Crump said. "Disney remains silent."

"It was the most humiliating day of my life," Burkhalter said Wednesday.

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