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Mon Mar 7, 2016, 10:50 AM

 

'Just Say No': How Nancy Reagan Helped America Lose the War on Drugs

Nancy Reagan, a former Hollywood actress and the widow of President Ronald Reagan, died at her home in California on Sunday at age 94, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most influential and controversial first ladies in American history.

The Reagans, who were in the White House from 1981 to 1989, are often heralded as setting the conservative standard for the decades to come, embodying neoliberalism and other philosophies that modern Republican presidential candidates often invoke to attract voters. They also presided over the sharp escalation of America's war on drugs, which led to an era of tough-on-crime rhetoric and draconian policies that swelled the US prison population.


snip:
By 1988, more than 12,000 "Just Say No Clubs" had formed in schools across the country. Government-funded anti-drug commercials tried to scare kids away from recreational drug use, while warning parents about the horrible things that would happen if their kids started getting high.

The campaign was a cornerstone of the nation's war on drugs. The war was actually declared by President Richard Nixon back in 1971, but it was Reagan who really set the wheels in motion, as the popularity of cocaine continued to boom, crack cocaine emerged on inner city streets and drug cartels south of the border became increasingly powerful.

In 1986, Reagan signed the National Crusade for a Drug Free America, an anti-drug abuse bill that took a zero-tolerance approach to drug use and distribution. It caused America's incarceration rate to skyrocket. Tough sentencing remained the weapon of choice in the fight against drugs for decades. The US currently has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world, and about half of all federal prisoners are locked up for drug crimes. Only in recent years, during the Obama administration, has the nation's drug policy shifted from criminalization to rehabilitation.


snip:
...America has continued to spend billions of dollars each year fighting the losing battle in the war on drugs. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, the US spends more than $51 billion annually on the war on drugs, and more than 1.5 million Americans were arrested in 2014 for drug law violations. Around 83 percent of those arrests were for minor possession of illicit substances.

Meanwhile, drugs are as easy to get as ever in the US, and tens of thousands of people across Latin America have died in drug-related violence as countries fight their own drug wars backed by US taxpayer dollars. More than 100,000 people have died in Mexico's drug war alone since 2006. It's those sorts of sobering statistics that make Nancy Reagan's message to Americans in 1990 seem absurd.


https://news.vice.com/article/just-say-no-how-nancy-reagan-helped-america-lose-the-war-on-drugs

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Reply 'Just Say No': How Nancy Reagan Helped America Lose the War on Drugs (Original post)
YoungDemCA Mar 2016 OP
mulsh Mar 2016 #1
Warren DeMontague Mar 2016 #8
HughBeaumont Mar 2016 #2
Demonaut Mar 2016 #3
mountain grammy Mar 2016 #4
Trajan Mar 2016 #5
Warren DeMontague Mar 2016 #7
Warren DeMontague Mar 2016 #6
Humanist_Activist Mar 2016 #9
hardluck Mar 2016 #10

Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 11:06 AM

1. if she were well mannered the slogan would be "Just say 'no thank you".

n/t

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Response to mulsh (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 07:13 PM

8. I saw Tim Leary speak in 1988

He was promoting the slogan "just say know"

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 11:17 AM

2. You can lock someone up until they have a record an arm long and they're still not going to stop.

Addiction is the problem. Treating the addicted like criminals is about as silly as telling the unemployed and destitute "Just Get a JOB" or saying (as Mike Huckabee did) "we should simply CURE diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers". You know, because I bet no one's ever thought of that approach before.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 11:47 AM

3. "Dare to keep kids off drugs" acronym but terribly stupid message

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 11:56 AM

4. The grim reaper isn't finished yet..

lot's of old republicans out there, and we can relive their sorry history with every passing.. and we should! Let's never forget the damage these thugs have done to human beings and our planet and vow to do better.

Thanks for posting!

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 12:41 PM

5. As someone who eschewed 12 Step programs in favour of

 

Rational Recovery ...

In the end, Nancy was correct ...

You have to tell the beast inside 'NO ... You CANNOT drink/smoke/inject that booze/speed/smack'

In Rational Recovery, you focus on listening to that 'inner voice' that begs for your drug, and, speaking directly to that inner voice, that BEAST inside who craves drug usage ... And telling it directly ... 'no' ...

I'm a believer ...

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Response to Trajan (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 07:12 PM

7. It is important to remind folks struggling with addiction that there is more than one path.

I know many people who have been helped by Trimpey and RR, as well as RR-influenced approaches like REBT based SMART (not to be confused with the kevin sabet anti marijuana legalization asshats)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_Recovery

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 07:09 PM

6. Some people are just authoritarian control freaks.

They need to be kept far away from anything resembling the levers of power over the rest of us.

Those of us who have been calling this shit out for decades have only been proven right time and again.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 07:21 PM

9. The war was lost well before Nancy Reagan entered the scene...

She and her Husband made things worse, no question, but things really got going under Nixon.

I'm plugging this video, I think its a decent summary:

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 09:15 PM

10. Wasn't just them

This was a bipartisan effort. The anti-drug abuse act of 1986 passed a democrat controlled house 392-16 and a republican controlled senate 97-2. A democrat introduced the legislation. To boil down the "war on drugs" in the 1980s to evil republicans is simplistic and to blame Nancy Reagan, who held no elected position, and advocated for kids not to do drugs, is inane. You might as well blame Mr. T for the drug war based on his PSAs.

I highly doubt there was such invective regarding the drug war aimed at Tip O'Neill when he passed.



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