A California prankster started the new year off with a massive cannabis themed joke. The practical joker changed the iconic Hollywood sign so it said “Hollyweed” instead. It was a fitting joke since California voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November.
The ‘Hollyweed’ Details
On the morning of January 1, 2017, Hollywood locals woke up to see the surprise change to their sign. According to local police, surveillance cameras caught somebody scrambling up the hill to the sign in the middle of the night on New Year’s Eve.
Once the prankster made it to the sign, she or he used tarps to alter the sign. They used dark colored tarps to block out portions of the “O” signs and added white tarps to make them look like the letter “e.”
The altered letters didn’t survive very long. City workers had the tarps down and the letters back to normal by 10:45 the next morning. But the joke lasted long enough to flood social media and grab some attention from cannabis fans throughout the country.
The Los Angeles Police Department said it’s reviewing surveillance tapes to figure out who carried out the prank. And local sources report that authorities may be investigating it as a misdemeanor trespass charge.
Not The First ‘Hollyweed’ Prank
This isn’t the first time the Hollywood sign has been transformed. Back in 1976, a man named Danny Finegood did the exact same thing. He changed the letters of the sign to read “Hollyweed” on January 1, 1976.
Finegood’s alteration came in celebration of a new marijuana law in the state. And it seems that this year’s reproduction of Finegood’s original joke could be doing the same thing.
In November, California voted to legalize recreational cannabis. It was one of eight states to approve new marijuana laws.
Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine voted to legalize recreational use. And Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota all passed new medical marijuana laws. As a result of all these changes, 1 in 5 Americans now has access to some form of legal cannabis.
The Final Hit
It looks like whoever created the “Hollyweed” sign this year was probably continuing the tradition started by Finegood. And just as it was back in 1976, many in the cannabis community see this year’s celebratory joke as a good way to recognize the passing of so many new cannabis laws.
But it’s not just about Hollywood, Finegood, or whoever was responsible for this year’s prank. There’s actually a much larger tradition of using humorous public displays to speak out about cannabis laws.
Last year, for example, activists built a massive inflatable joint to use at protests and rallies. People involved in the project said it was the world’s largest joint.
Obviously, it wasn’t actually smokable. But the huge float became the centerpiece for pro-cannabis rallies in Washington, D.C.
Whether it’s protesting or celebrating, the wide world of weed culture has a knack for coming up with creative ways to speak out. From giant inflatable joints to the “Hollyweed” sign, you never really know what cannabis fans will come up with next.