Crack Down

Reagan declares a war on drugs and proposes tests for key officials

Presidents bedeviled by seemingly intractable problems tend to resort to symbolic gestures. As he wondered how to pay for the Great Society and the Viet Nam War all at once, Lyndon Johnson roamed the White House halls turning off lights to save electricity. In the depths of the energy crisis, Jimmy Carter turned down the thermostat in the Oval Office and put on a sweater. So, as the national furor over the drug crisis continues to grow, it was not altogether startling to hear Ronald Reagan offer to take a urine test to determine if he has consumed any narcotics lately...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!