Nancy Reagan and her legacy have both expired at the same time. For the whippersnappers in the audience, or the products of public education systems that don't know what history is, I'll provide dash of background.
Nancy Reagan, wife of previously expired US president Saint Ronald Reagan, has just died. She was most well-known to many of us for a rather nonsensical media blitz called, "Just Say No." The idea was to brainwash innocents into refusing drugs (we can only assume the drugs Big Pharma doesn't brand) by saying 'no.' Her campaign was backed up by taxpayer money and her husband's renewed "War on Drugs," yet another costly and failed government effort to force behaviors on the public (for another delicious irony, see Iran-Contra Affair).
In one of those delicious ironies, as Nancy lay dying, a wave of legalization is sweeping the world.
Vast amounts of money and effort have been expended on campaigns like "Just Say No." In US schools in the 80s, thousands of buttons, ribbons, fliers, videos, and other forms of propaganda were distributed, only to have that generation spearhead the legalization movement. The additional trillions of dollars that have been thrown at "enforcement" have only succeeded in creating black markets and vicious cartels, raising prices while lowering quality, and increasing dangers while decreasing respect for law. Hardly a success story, it appears.
From 1920-1933, the US went through a period called "Prohibition." Alcoholic beverages were banned completely and a vast corrupt bureaucracy was established to "enforce" this ridiculous law. The negative effects of Prohibition were so bad that the law was repealed after 13 years and the agency set up to "enforce" the law became a hot-bed of corruption and a political hot potato. The corruption was so bad that the agency was passed around through the FBI and DoJ, before it was transformed into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and went on a worldwide campaign to outlaw cannabis, cocaine and opium in order to save their cushy government jobs and plush retirement packages - not to mention the vast sums of bribe money.
Prohibition begat such wonderful things as wiretapping, disguised agents, police brutality, and pretty much the entire surveillance system we suffer under today. Billions of dollars are burned annually worldwide to stop something most people don't want to do - stop using drugs. Since the dawn of civilization until this moment, humanity has sought out and used means to relax, ease pain, heal ills, and generally just have a good time. Nothing - and this bears repeating - NOTHING is going to stop one of humanity's most fundamental desires.
From the absurdity of Nancy's "Just Say No," to the quasi-wars in virtually every part of the world, to the obscene amounts of money flowing into both government and cartel hands, the so-called War on Drugs has been a miserable failure for everyone but the select insiders who benefit financially from all the suffering. From cocaine mummies in Egypt to pharmaceutical morphine, we humans will always want, and will pay any price, to obtain relief.
It is that "pay any price" part that is the prime motivator behind all this century-long effort to (ahem) eradicate drugs. There are so many interests wanting to cash in on "pay any price" that prohibition has become a tool for profit, rather than idealism. Cannabis, poppies and cocoa trees are easily cultivated in a wide variety of climates, and their products provide healing, relief and recreation to vast numbers of people. If we were all allowed to grow our own, imagine the financial hit the cartels, governments and major corporations would take.
The legacy of people like Nancy Reagan, and really the entire 20th century, has been to empower black markets and over-reaching authoritarian governments, who are all in league with Big Pharma and the weapons industry to combat something that was never a problem until the early 1900s (with the inclusion of Prohibition's progenitor - the Opium Wars).
It is high time to put an end to all this madness. People will never stop using drugs of any kind, and the effort to force them empowers evil and psychopathic organizations whose sole motivation is profit at any expense. The end of prohibition of all sorts is a major step in defanging governments, cartels and soulless multi-national corporations, by attacking their life-blood: profit.
Goodbye, Nancy. You were born into Prohibition. Let's hope you both expire together, as well.