Marijuana is largely decriminalized in Philadelphia. But people who get high while on probation are still risking incarceration. It’s a paradox that has many in the city frustrated. And over in New Jersey, a Democrat has gotten something that few, if any, of his left-leaning colleagues have gotten from President Donald Trump: a kind tweet.
Melonie Alvarado appeared for her probation-violation hearing nearing the end of a three-year term. She was in trouble for using marijuana. After failed tests, the judge revoked her probation, setting her up for more probation, community service, court-ordered drug treatment, or even prison.
Alvarado and others are frustrated with trying to reconcile probation orders with shifting norms and laws regarding the drug, especially in Philadelphia.
Peter LaFrance initially dismissed his shortness of breath as a consequence of age and having smoked when he was younger. But when the 57-year-old’s symptoms got worse, a doctor told him he had a serious problem: heart failure and type 2 diabetes. And the situation became even more dire months later, when the bills for tests and scans during his week-long hospital stay arrived.
His insurance plan refused to pay because heart failure and diabetes were pre-existing conditions, according to his plan. Even though he had just been diagnosed, LaFrance was still saddled with $35,000 in medical debt.
President Trump’s Twitter account is usually populated by frequent attacks on opponents and praise for his supporters. And among the steady stream of tweets came one that cut against the grain a bit. Instead of scorning a Democrat, Trump quoted him.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew is a Democrat from New Jersey who represents a conservative-leaning district outside of Philadelphia. Quickly, he’s emerging as one of Trump’s favorite Democrats. And it remains to be seen how that will impact his ability to keep his seat in 2020.
I don’t know if a more quintessentially “fall” photo has been taken. Nice shot, @strangerphilly.
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“One month, seven children shot — five of them fatally. Could these tragedies give Harrisburg the minimal courage, or at least an ounce of compassion, to allow Philadelphia to enact even mild gun control measures? Don’t hold your breath.” — The Inquirer Editorial Board writes about a state law that keeps Philadelphia from enacting and enforcing gun control measures.