Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign pushed the drug war.

Just Say No

Below is my interview with The Takeaway about Nancy Reagan’s infamous campaign.

Nancy Reagan, one of the most influential first ladies of the 20th century, died on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at the age of 94.

Drug War Slogan: “Just Say No” – Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign was successful for people currently making a lot of money off of the war on drugs. – Dr. Carl Hart

The vast majority of people that use any of these drugs that we’re talking about don’t have a problem,” Hart says. “That tells you that the problem is not the drugs. The problem lies elsewhere.”

The text below is posted as written on

The “Just Say No” mantra has stuck over the years partly because the Reagan’s were such effective communicators, Hart says. When they spoke to America from a couch in the West Hall of the White House, they looked like “the national parents,” he says.

The campaign pushed by the Reagan Administration and by Mrs. Reagan herself was “horrible” for most Americans because it oversimplified the nature and realities surrounding drug use.

In Hart’s perspective, the problem of drug abuse is connected to opportunity and unemployment, and mental illnesses, among other things.

Originally posted in The Takeaway