Throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the “War on Drugs” was in full swing under Ronald Reagan’s administration.

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The former President vowed to forcefully end the “illegal” drug trade using the government and military. This “war” is one of the causes of mass incarceration of black and brown people for non-violent drug offenses. The effects of this war against minorities are still lurking through society ’til this day.

His enabling wife, Nancy Reagan, launched the “Just Say No” campaign, which was intended to discourage children from using drugs. We thought the former First Lady came up with the slogan, but Bobby Brown just told D.L. Hughley that New Edition made up the phrase.


“She got that from me,” Bobby stated. “She got that from New Edition.” Hughley seemed shocked and joked, “Nancy Reagan was in the same room with Bobby Brown and nobody went to jail? That’s amazing to me.”

After a few chuckles, the veteran singer added, “She basically asked us what do we say when we’re offered drugs. We were young, we was 15, 14-years-old, and we just said, ‘We just say no.’ The campaign just flew from there. The ‘Just Say No’ campaign. We didn’t get no credit but—,’ Hughley chimed in. “It’s because you didn’t say no later on!” he said while laughing.

“Well, later on in life I didn’t say no. I say no now!” Bobby jokingly reassured.

Check out the clip of Bobby on The D.L. Hughley Show below.