On a recent episode of ABC’s popular comedy “Modern Family,” the new couple next door to the Dunphy family has an unusual line of work: They own a marijuana dispensary. But nobody on the show seems to care, and when the Dunphys get into a feud with the neighbors, it’s about something entirely different—the eyesore powerboat parked in their driveway.
It was not always thus in TV-land, where pot has been a long-standing taboo. Even a comedy with lots of jokes about the stuff, “That ’70s Show,” never showed anyone actually lighting up. While movies and music embraced stoners, they were rare on TV, where advertisers are still cautious and broadcasters adhere to government regulations about social responsibility.