TALLAHASSEE, FL — A woman says that she was arrested and imprisoned after she bought some allergy medicine from a local pharmacy.
The ordeal of Mickey Lynn Goodson occurred in July of 2010, but was recently brought to light in a federal lawsuit.
Ms. Goodson says that when she suffered seasonal “allergy flare-ups”, she asked a pharmacist what she might take to suppress her symptoms. Because of Florida’s draconian drug laws, coupled with Gadsden County’s overzealous enforcers and prosecutors, the woman’s medical issues would stem into a costly legal nightmare that lasted over a year.
Details of the Ms. Goodson’s lawsuit were summarized by Courthouse News Service:
“The pharmacist on duty suggested that plaintiff buy two boxes of Sudafed and she did,” the complaint states.
“Almost immediately,” defendant Officer [Rodney] Moore drove up in an unmarked police car, Goodson says. Moore blocked her and her husband’s car, prevented them from leaving, and asked if she had just bought Sudafed. She said she had. Moore then took the Sudafed and told the Goodsons they had to wait for more officers to arrive, detaining them against their will, they say in the complaint.
Defendant [William] Buckhalt arrived, with other deputies, and searched the Goodsons’ car. They were taken to a sheriff’s station, where Buckhalt asked if he could search their home. The Goodson said no, “unless there was a search warrant. Buckhalt then said, ‘Oh, I’ll get a search warrant,'” according to the complaint.
After being held for two to three hours, Goodson says, she left the Sheriff’s office.
She was arrested and handcuffed on her front porch, by a deputy who asked her, “What have you gotten rid of?” Goodson says.
She replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” but was taken back to the county jail and booked in, charged with possession of a controlled substance.
The contention of police was that the Sudafed was being used to make methamphetamines. However, a weak case resulted in all charges ultimately being dropped, but not until September 7, 2011, causing her to endure 15 months of hardship.
Ms. Goodson is suing Officers Rodney Moore and William Buckhalt, as well as Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young, for false arrest, false imprisonment, Fourth Amendment violations and negligence.
The allegations put forth by Ms. Goodson are neither implausible nor unheard of, as many innocent people before her have had their lives destroyed by similarly ridiculous accusations in America’s War on Drugs. The institution of Prohibition has opened the gateway to widespread civil rights abuses — both accidental and malicious.