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Snacking Leads to Arrest

A simple snack run turned into a drug arrest for one unfortunate marijuana user. 35-year-old Shannon Dooling, a resident of Missoula, was hanging out with her husband and another man near a fishing access point in Florence this past March. They must’ve gotten the munchies during their trip because Shannon went up to the nearby Town Pump to purchase some snacks. Unfortunately, this simple snack run resulted in multiple misdemeanor charges.

Once she arrived, Shannon apparently took and ate some snacks from the gas station. She told police that she had the intention of purchasing them once her husband came to join her. Perhaps she walked outside to see whether he was on his way. Whatever the reason, she looked suspicious to pump employees, who reportedly told the police that she was stealing. By this time, she had already downed two drinks, some orange jello, and Rolos.

The police asked permission to search her bag for evidence of the stolen items. Permission was granted, and the police were surprised by what they found. They discovered a glass pipe that had recently been used to smoke marijuana.

No wonder she was on a snack run.

Dooling is only one of many Montana cannabis users. The drug is seeing a rise as medical marijuana activists are succeeding politically. Since 2011, Montana Cannabis Industry Association, one of Montana’s biggest cannabis supporters, has succeeded in getting voters’ voices heard. Since 61% of voters decided to legalize medical marijuana in November, 2004, card-carrying medicinal marijuana users are legally entitled to use cannabis as needed to help stimulate appetite and manage pain.

Unfortunately, Dooling must not have been a cardholder. Finding the bong in her bag was enough to get her arrested, incarcerated, and charged with illegal drug possession. The drug paraphernalia was also seized as evidence.

Shannon now faces charges for felony drug possession, and several drug-related misdemeanor charges. Because she entered a plea of not guilty during her first court appointment March 28, she will have a district court hearing in the morning of April 11.


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