The War on Drugs and Alcohol is really a War on Americans. The government uses the drug war as an excuse to take away your Constitutional rights. A student newspaper at the government’s University of Pittsburgh is fighting back by suing over a state law that forbids any mention of alcohol in campus newspaper advertisements.
In their lawsuit, the students claim a loss of First Amendment rights. The Pitt News Editor-in-Chief Hal Turner said the state has not right to decide what people can read about a product that is legal to sell. He added, “The state is trying to dictate what we can and cannot put in the paper.” This is otherwise known as censorship.
Most bars and restaurants pulled their ads upon learning that advertising beer or alcohol could invite fines or jail time.
The government defends the law by stating that many students are not legally allowed to drink alcohol. However, according to the lawsuit two-thirds of the roughly 25,000 students on Pitt’s main campus are 21 and older and legally allowed to drink.
The law effectively uses the underage drinkers as an excuse to censor the lives of people over 21. This is similar to the attacks on Joe Camel. A private company was pressured into abandoning cartoon that appeals to millions of people over 21 who regularly watch late-night cartoons.
The First Amendment was written to stop government censorship. Luckily, the student newspaper editors are dusting off the Constitution and using it to defend their right to free expression.
If the editors win the suit, perhaps government high school papers could also accept liquor advertisements. All students may not be allowed to drink alcohol but the government may not be allowed to control the advertising of products that are legal.