Should all images on TV of drugs and alcohol be banned?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some people might argue that such images should be banned from television.  Their reasoning would be that such images are bad for our society as a whole.  By showing people using drugs and alcohol, we encourage them to use those things.  This leads to a number of societal problems. 

However, there are at least two major problems with this idea. 

First, there is the problem of the freedom of speech.  In general, Americans have the right to free speech.  This right is not absolute, but it is very broad.  It is not at all clear that it would be legal to prevent any depiction of such things on TV. 

Second, and perhaps more importantly, there is the issue of whether this is practical or wise.  The idea behind this proposed ban is that we should not expose people to things that will give them bad ideas.  The problem is that, if extended to its logical conclusions, this doctrine would essentially ban practically everything on television.  Eating can be just as bad as drinking if done to excess.  Robbery is illegal just as drugs are.  Extreme extension to the extreme but logically consistent conclusion raises the question: Would we also ban images of eating or stealing on TV? 

So, while it is understandable that some people might want such a ban, it does not make sense to others to actually try to implement one.