Nancy Reagan’s ‘Just Say No’ campaign was an absolute disaster — here’s how to end it for good

Image: Raw Story

The phrase with which Nancy Reagan will forever be associated came out quite naturally, when the First Lady visited some schoolchildren in Oakland, California in 1982. “A little girl raised her hand,” she recalled, “and said, ‘Mrs. Reagan, what do you do if somebody offers you drugs?’ And I said, ‘Well, you just say no.’”

After her “Just Say No” tagline caught on, she launched a high-profile, long-lived campaign by that name in 1982, traveling around the US and the world and across the airwaves to promote it. PBS noted, “The movement focuses on white, middle-class children and is funded by corporate and private donations.” She visited rehab and prevention programs and oversaw the formation of thousands of Just Say No clubs in schools and youth organizations, some of which still operate to this day.

Her don’t-do-drugs message, a reassuringly simple balm to a nation’s fears, was widely embraced. It can also legitimately be blamed for a huge amount of human misery.

More from Raw Story

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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