Fetterman, Fresh Out of Hospital for Depression, Issues Tweet Celebrating Drug That's Illegal in PA


Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania has returned to the upper chamber of U.S. Congress — and, as NPR assured America after an interview with him, “Fetterman is back and ready to work.”

In the interview, Fetterman described what led him to seek treatment for depression, which isn’t uncommon among those who have suffered strokes; the senator suffered one just prior to the Democratic primary for the 2022 election for a seat being vacated by outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.

“I was so depressed that I didn’t even realize I was depressed. I didn’t even understand it. This, to me, just became the new normal. I wasn’t realizing [that] I wasn’t eating. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t really drinking much,” he said, according to Fox News.

“I dropped 25 pounds. And sometimes I would say things, incoherent things, and I would become kind of just [disoriented], and getting lost walking around in Washington.”

“They knew that I wasn’t right. But even at that moment, I still kind of pushed back about it, too, sometimes saying, ‘Are you sure, I don’t really need it,'” he added

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NPR noted that “[p]art of Fetterman’s recovery per his doctors includes staying away from cable television news and social media — which might be good advice for everyone to follow.”

Fetterman isn’t entirely following the advice, however — and, on Thursday, he made it clear just why he should be avoiding social media at the moment.

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There’s Fetterman — again, let’s remind everyone, recently released after seeking treatment for clinical depression in a hospital — promoting “4/20,” an April “holiday” centered around the consumption of marijuana.

“It’s 4:20 on 4/20. That’s the tweet,” Fetterman wrote, holding up a flag with a huge marijuana leaf saying “It’s 420 somewhere.”

While it’s unclear how the number became associated with marijuana usage, Time noted in a Thursday article that “[t]he most credible story traces 4/20 to Marin County, Calif.

“In 1971, five students at San Rafael High School would meet at 4:20 p.m. by the campus’ statue of chemist Louis Pasteur to partake. They chose that specific time because extracurricular activities had usually ended by then. This group — Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich — became known as the ‘Waldos’ because they met at a wall. They would say ‘420’ to each other as code for marijuana.”

As for Sen. Fetterman’s endorsement of a day that’s become pothead Christmas, there are several issues with it, starting with the fact Fetterman represents a state where the drug remains illegal except for medical uses.

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“Possession, sale, cultivation, or possession or sale of paraphernalia can bring sentences ranging from a fine of $500 to $15,000 or incarceration of 30 days to five years, depending on the amount and other factors such as whether the sale is to a minor. Only medical-marijuana patients can legally buy and consume cannabis from state-approved dispensaries. The Pennsylvania state police said that 12,439 adults and 1,057 juveniles were arrested by law enforcement for simple marijuana possession in 2021,” Jim Geraghty noted at National Review.

“Fetterman didn’t single-handedly write Pennsylvania’s laws, and in fact has pledged on the campaign trail to decriminalize marijuana. Then again, Fetterman was lieutenant governor for four years, with a Democratic governor and GOP-controlled state legislatures, and it’s clear his desire to legalize marijuana had no effect on the state’s laws. Again, it’s just a little odd to see a senator celebrating the joys of a substance that can get you put in jail in his own state.”

It’s also a little odd to see a senator recently out of the hospital for depression promoting a substance that’s become exponentially more potent over the past quarter-century to the point where it’s difficult to classify the substance as a “soft” drug anymore.

“We’re now counting 37 cannabis-related diagnoses a day,” Dr. Roneet Lev, an addiction medicine specialist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, told the New York Post for an article published in October of 2022.

“It’s been steadily increasing over the years. When I started in the 1990s, there was no such thing. Now I see one to two cases per shift. The most common symptom is psychosis.”

Ben Cort, who runs an addiction treatment center in Colorado, had a similar story to tell: “We probably see 20 THC-induced psychoses for every amphetamine-induced psychosis,” he said.

So the guy who’s just out of the hospital for battling depression and who wants to make a good impression on the people he’s been elected to serve and politically inclined Americans and has been told to stay away from social media went on social media to promote a holiday centered around a recreational drug illegal in the state that he serves.

During his interview with NPR, Fetterman said that “when I was in the throes of depression, if I was being 100 percent honest, I was not the kind of senator that was deserved by Pennsylvanians.”

Alas, the 4/20 stunt proved yet again that he still isn’t.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture