I remember those words well, made famous by Nancy Reagan. We chanted the phrase at grade-school assemblies, and as prompted by Public Service Announcements during Saturday morning cartoons. It was a movement of epic proportions. Everyone born in 1980 and earlier was in some way effected by the war on drugs.

Despite the inspiring mantra, crack took the ‘hood by storm in the ’80s and ’90s. Now heroin is back after a crack-induced hiatus, and it brought with it meth, and other homemade crap. Then there’s the old favorite, marijuana, which I think has done more harm to the ghettos of America than the harder drugs because people still think that it’s harmless.  All I know is that weed is a productivity killer, at the very least.  And being unproductive in this country is one of the worst things you can be.

I ended up thinking about this because last night Devin and his grandmother were watching COPS together (only a grandparent can get away with this and not feel my overprotective parenting wrath).  Inevitably the topic of drugs came up. 

Grandma, being well aware of the horrors of drugs after living in the projects during the crack epidemic, told Devin to “Just say no to drugs.  Drugs are bad.”  Devin replied, “yes Grandma, I will always say no to drugs.  Drugs are very bad.”  (Mind you, the boy has no real frame of reference about what drugs are.)  But of course my boy couldn’t leave it at that.  He had to analyze it.  “Grandma, what about drugs in the drug store?”  Grandma thought about explaining the difference between street drugs and acetaminophen, and opted to change the subject.  Smart move. 

Just say no y’all!