Nancy Reagan in her later life never did much in the way to revisit or retract her statements made in 1982 as she launched her iconic War on Drugs campaign and it’s easy to see why.
In 1982 drug use was viewed as an epidemic by the public and a major target to blame for domestic unrest and urban crime. To put it simply that sentiment is completely changed in 2016 with more than 50% of the nation’s population at least having tried marijuana and a snowballing base of support for blanket nation-wide legalization and Nancy looks sort of foolish in retrospect when approached canonically.
Indeed the only drug mentioned by name specifically in her ‘War on Drugs’ was marijuana even ridiculously citing that dealers are stealing "the dream from every child's heart." with every sale. Thankfully many politicians on both sides of the 2016 election debates have adopted the inverse opinion claiming the economic benefits each state and the country stand to face via legalization should no longer be ignored in the nation’s weakening economic state.
The unfortunate reality Nancy must have faced as she exited this mortal coil was that her’s and her husband’s hardline policies stand out as one of the few transparent and traceable failures carried out by a presidential administration. The US has more of citizens in prison population than any other ‘civilized’ country 53% of which are non-violent drug offenders and only 7% of which actually committed violent crimes. The fallout of the ‘Just Say No’ campaign slogan is so vast that viewing the campaign and its rippling effect in policies as anything besides an abject failure is nearly impossible.
We live in a country that is more apt to pander to pharmaceutical corporations and jail people who are innocent of committing any real crime instead of the murderers and thieves guilty of perpetuating the black market drug trade, many of which are seated US politicians and government bureaucrats.
So maybe it does make a bit more sense now why Nancy almost never spoke of her ‘War on Drugs’ positions post-inception. Her legacy is not one of social reform and healthy living but rather a legacy of tyranny and failure.
‘Just Say No’ to the ‘War on Americans’.
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