For those of us who came of age in the Rainn Wilson recycle or die shirt 1980s and 1990s, anti-drug messaging was a constant. There were the PSAs with stars like Ally Sheedy, Kirk Cameron, and Pee-wee Herman delivering dramatic monologues slipped into our after-school specials (many of which had their own anti-drug messaging; one about angel dust, starring Helen Hunt, remains imprinted in my brain). Then there was the endless DARE merchandise; the “this is your brain on drugs” fried-egg commercial; and, of course, the earnest speeches by Nancy Reagan, a figurehead in the failure that was the racist war on drugs. The message was simple and always the same: just say no.
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