For many decades, part of the prohibition tactic was to make illegal drugs so taboo that even discussing them was considered improper. People even whispered when they said the word “marijuana” as if some Orwellian hidden government microphones might catch that they were talking about drugs.

Of course, if people couldn’t talk about them, it was tougher to educate them about drugs except in the specific terms pushed by the propagandists. They knew that if people started talking about marijuana, they might start asking why it’s illegal.

So I enjoy little moments when I see how much that taboo has shattered in recent years…

I’m a foodie. I admit it. I watch the Food Network and love programs like “Chopped” and “Iron Chef America” and I also love to cook (and eat).

Recently, I watched the “Top Chef” series on Bravo. At one point, the chefs are taken to a beautiful remote mountaintop in Alaska, and chef-contestant Sheldon says, “I really wish I had some reefer right now!”

In another episode, chef-contestant Kristen is given a smoke gun with tiny wood chips for adding smoke flavor to food. She’s never used one before, and the clock is ticking as she tries to figure it out. Finally she does and exclaims “Oh, it’s just like lighting a bong!” and the audience of chefs cheers the bong reference. The producers of the show not only left that in, but used that clip as re-cap footage so it was seen multiple times.

These are little things, but it’s the little things (even more so than an entire series like “Weeds”) that demonstrate the shift in thinking.

Speaking of a shift in thinking, it was interesting to wrap my head around the fact that the New York Times chose to devote an entire feature article in Fashion & Style on Marijuana Etiquette, raising interesting and important questions about how to handle marijuana when entertaining.

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