Is it time to legalize marijuana? “Marijuana: A Chronic History” (8 p.m., History) looks at the decades-long efforts to combat the drug that millions consume and millions more think of as benign, yet the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) still refers to it as a “gateway drug.”
This division of opinion makes enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws a tad ticklish. The Federal government has spent more than $100 billion to fight its importation, but more than 17 states now consider the consumption of medical marijuana to be perfectly legal.
“Chronic” looks at changing societal attitudes toward marijuana laws and the possibility that we may be reaching, or may have already passed, a time when pot is no longer criminalized.
Many estimate marijuana to be the largest cash crop in many American states. On Tuesday, California voters had a chance to vote on a proposition that would legalize the sale of marijuana and allow government to tax it. And just last week, the San Francisco Giants hosted World Series games in a stadium where, it was reported, many fans openly smoked marijuana in the stands.
In New York, you’d get busted just for lighting up a Marlboro. But that’s another story.
Public disgust with pot enforcement, flagrant use by tens of millions of citizens, contradictory laws and the prospect of a tax revenue bonanza just may make marijuana laws go the way of alcohol prohibition.
• In a story that almost seems to have inspired “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Secrets of the Dead” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) recalls a remarkable archeological discovery that rivals that of King Tut, but has been long overshadowed by remarkable historical events.
In the late 1930s, a French team found the tomb of King Psusennes I, who ruled during a period known as Egypt’s Dark Ages. Yet this historically resonant find, complete with a silver sarcophagus, gold mask and countless gems, had to be abandoned when Nazi troops raced across Europe and into France. “Secrets” does a good job of recalling two very distinct, but now-linked historical eras: the reign of Psusennes and chaos and carnage of World War II.
• “My Dog Ate What?” (8 p.m., National Geographic Wild) enters its second unappetizing season.
• “That’s Tough” (7:30 p.m., G4) discusses the world’s most no-nonsense rock ’n’ rollers, criminal organizations and military sea vehicles.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Peril in Peru on “Undercovers” (7 p.m., NBC).
• Look for a two-hour helping of “Hell’s Kitchen” (7 p.m., Fox).
• An environmentalist hugs his last tree on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (8 p.m., NBC).
• An impromptu visit to Jay’s office proves surprising on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).
• Nick reluctantly defends a client accused of killing his Vegas idol on “The Defenders” (9 p.m., CBS).
• A hit-and-run accident may have been deliberate on “Law & Order: Los Angeles” (9 p.m., NBC).
• Singers Brad Paisley, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood appear on “In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts” (9 p.m., ABC).
• Britt helps out an old friend on “Terriers” (9 p.m., FX).
In a town that forbids dancing, only Kevin Bacon dared to be “Footloose” (8 p.m., Cinemax).