Disney World Fires Bartender for Using CBD Oil to Treat Foot Pain
A woman lost her job at Disney World for having CBD oil in her bag while visiting the park on her day off. So much for being the happiest place on Earth.
Published on July 17, 2019

A single bottle of CBD oil bought at a Florida grocery store cost a Walt Disney World employee her job, NBC affiliate WESH2 reports.

Kathy Talafous, a former bartender at Disney World in Orlando, said that park security confiscated a bottle of CBD oil from her purse while she was visiting the theme park on her day off this April. Talafous said she bought the CBD oil over the counter at a local grocery store to help her treat foot pain.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Talafous told WESH. “I went into a store. I bought it. I paid $50 for it.” Talafous had the CBD oil in her purse when she visited the park, and security personnel seized the bottle from her during a routine bag check. “They said, 'You can’t have this, it’s illegal.' I said, 'What do you mean it’s illegal?’”

The former Disney employee received a document from the local Sheriff's Office noting that they had not tested her CBD oil to determine the THC content. The Disney incident reports claim that her oil did test positive for THC, however.

When Talafous showed up at work the following Monday, her supervisors suspended her over the CBD incident. This week, the company officially fired her from her job. “Now here I am, losing my job because of something I bought at a supermarket,” she said to WESH. A union rep reportedly told her that there is a chance she could fight to get her job back, but the process could take a long time.

The very same week that Disney security busted Talafous with her store-bought medicine, a local cop arrested 69-year-old Hester Jordan Burkhalter for bringing CBD into the Magic Kingdom. The great-grandmother had a doctor's note for the oil, which she was using to treat arthritis, but the sheriff's deputy who arrested her still made her spend the night in jail.

The local sheriff's department eventually dropped the charges against Burkhalter, but Disney World issued a lifelong ban preventing her from ever returning to any Disney properties. The great-grandmother is now suing the theme park and the local police for emotional distress, defamation of character, false arrest, illegal detention, and other civil rights violations.

Although Florida has an active medical marijuana program, CBD oil remained illegal under state law — until this month. As of July 1st, hemp, including derivatives like CBD, is legal in the Sunshine State, although officials have yet to release regulations governing these newly-approved products.

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Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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