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Nancy Reagan and Former Drug Czar William Bennett Warn of Loss of Ground in the War on Drugs


April 1995

In a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Government Reform and Oversight, former first lady Nancy Reagan and former drug officials warned that the United States is losing the war on drugs (Michael Hedges, "Clinton Faces Criticism for Setback on Drug War," Washington Times, Mar. 10, 1995, p. A1; "Nancy's Back," USA Today, Mar. 10, 1995, p. 4A).

"I am not here to criticize or place blame, but after the great strides that were made just a few years back, I'm worried that this nation is forgetting how endangered our children are by drugs," Reagan said. "Why is it we no longer hear the drumbeat of condemnation against drugs coming from our leaders and our culture? Is it any wonder drug use has started to climb again, and dramatically so?"

Former Bush administration Office of National Drug Control Policy Director William Bennett assailed President Clinton for the rising statistics on drug use. "The president is virtually invisible on this issue," he said. "The most famous statement made by this president on this issue is, 'I didn't inhale.'"

"If these trends continue, by 1996 the Clinton administration will have presided over the greatest increase in drug use in American history," testified former Bennett-aide John Walters.