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“Dope” is slang for drugs, and it also means that someone who is not intelligent. In this context, "only dopes do drugs" means that only people who are not smart do drugs. This stems from the 1980s “Just Say No” campaign. Cocaine, or in variant form “crack”, coming to the market led to an increase in addiction in America. The Reagan Administration began the campaign against drugs to help solve this problem. Nancy Reagan was the face of the campaign. She traveled all over the country to raise awareness and to reject drug use.
“Only Dopes Do Drugs” was one of the many slogans were created during this time. Other slogans and commercials included “drug users are losers,” “drug dealers are dorks,” and the well-known “this is your brain on drugs”.
Balonon-Rosen, P. (2019, March 26). From cringeworthy to scary: a history of anti-drug PSAs. Marketplace. https://www.marketplace.org/2019/03/26/advertisings-war-drugs-also-faile...
History.com Editors. (2017, May 31). Just Say No. History.com. https://www.history.com/topics/1980s/just-say-no.