At the height of the Reagan presidency, Americans were consumed by a cresting Cold War with the Soviet Union, an unprecedented, menacing anti-drug campaign, a burgeoning public health crisis known as AIDS, and, oh yeah, a blockbuster of a movie Back to the Future.
If you missed the 1985 flick, just know that Rotten Tomatoes scores it at 96 percent, and it’s considered a comedy classic. Once a clever movie made in the service of fun, its undertones now reanimate the unbelievable—the Trump administration’s retro ‘War on Drugs.’
In the service of avengement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has coveted a return to the Reagan era, including policies that propelled mass incarceration and funded the private prison industry. Remarked Sessions, “I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”