Miracle drug needs more explanation

Published 8:40 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The CBD craze is reaching epidemic levels, and even includes the arrest of a 69-year-old great grandmother who swears that it helps offer relief of her chronic arthritis.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and it is emerging as a promising therapy for many illnesses that experts have previously considered to be untreatable, including, but not limited to, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s, Depression, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers of marijuana plants, but it doesn’t produce a high. The latter effect comes from the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana.

Hester Jordan Burkhalter of Hickory, NC did not have a joint, a “doobie”, a blunt, etc. rolled up in her purse when she visited Disney World in Orlando last month. Nope, she was there like millions of others….ready to enjoy the most magical place on Earth.

As it turned out, Burkhalter experienced a nightmare.

While CBD oil can be purchased at the checkout counter of most any convenience store nationwide, including Florida, and can be ordered online, some states still consider it illegal to possess without a doctor’s prescription. Whether or not Burkhalter had one remains in contention. What she did reportedly possess was a note from a doctor suggesting she try the oil to see if it helped her arthritis.

Whatever the case, USA Today reported that Burkhalter, was arrested at a Disney World checkpoint on April 15 after security officers located “illegal narcotics believed to be THC oil” in her purse, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the newspaper.

The story went on to report that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Burkhalter refused to answer whether her item labeled “Select CBD” contained THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis.

The arresting officer, Vincent Lebron, wrote in the affidavit, “I tested the substance … using a Marijuana presumptive drug test kit; the kit turned red, indicating a presumptive positive result for the presence of THC.”

Burkhalter, who later said she had never been charged with anything in her life (including a speeding ticket), was arrested for possession of Hashish, a felony charge, and later released on $2,000 bail.

Later, apparently after media backlash, Orange County judicial officials dropped the charges, stating in a court filing that the case “wasn’t suitable for prosecution.”

But here’s the kicker to this story, one that shows just how far out of whack our laws are in some states. Burkhalter was arrested on a felony charge for a legal product. If she was found in possession of a marijuana joint in her purse, she would have been issued a citation and sent on her way. In the state of Florida, a person is guilty of a first-class misdemeanor if they are in possession of 19.9 grams or less of leaf-marijuana.

While a handful of states across our nation have legalized the manufacture and possession of marijuana, others do have laws on the books pertaining to the use of this drug for medicinal purposes. And that’s for the THC compound found in a pot plant…..CBD is a cousin of THC, but in no way is it as potent.

Millions of people today are taking CBD oil as a health supplement. I personally know of a few who have tried it and are pleased with the results. It can be formulated into a variety of consumable products – edibles, tinctures, gel caps, vape oil cartridges, topicals, beverages, and more.

Those who legally manufacture CBD oil and other legal components of marijuana or hemp plants are better versed than me in talking about the advantages of it. I would welcome their thoughts at the contact info shown below.


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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