Los Angeles residents awoke Sunday morning to find one of the city’s iconic landmarks had been updated with the changing of the years: the famous Hollywood sign had been modified to read “Hollyweed.”
According to a report from the Los Angeles Police Department, security cameras captured footage of a lone individual dressed in black tactical-style clothing climbing the mountain on which the sign sits. According to Sergeant Guy Juneau, the prankster then scaled the sign and used tarpaulins decorated with a peace symbol and a love heart to change the O’s to E’s.
Sergeant Juneau explained that as there was no damage to the sign, the incident will be investigated as misdemeanor trespassing. At this stage the LAPD aren’t believed to have any suspects.
Many have taken to social media to express their delight with the new sign, which is thought to be a reference to California’s approval of Proposition 64, which went to a vote in November to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state.
California follows states such as Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, which have already legalized recreational use of the drug. The approval of Proposition 64 makes California the most populous state to decriminalize marijuana use while also making the state the largest market for marijuana products in the United States.
Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association Nate Bradley discusses the development.
“We are very excited that citizens of California voted to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Proposition 64 will allow California to take its rightful place as the center of cannabis innovation, research and development.”
The proposition will allow adults 21 years and over to possess, transport, and buy and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and grow up to six plants. The measure will also allow the retail sale of the drug while imposing a 15 percent tax. While adults will be allowed to possess the drug immediately, it may take until January 2018 for the state to begin issuing licenses for retail sales businesses.
While pro marijuana activists have labeled the result as an important step in the legalization of the drug across the U.S., not everyone is happy with the result.
President of the California Police Chiefs Association Chief Ken Corney said police would closely monitor implementation of the new policy.
“We are, of course, disappointed that the self-serving moneyed interests behind this marijuana business plan prevailed at the cost of public health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities.”
He continued on perceived flaws with the policy.
“We will take a thorough look at the flaws in Proposition 64 that will negatively impact public health and safety, such as the initiative’s substandard advertising restrictions and lack of prosecutorial tools for driving under the influence of marijuana, and begin to develop legislative solutions.”
The opposition has criticized the campaign for its use of high-profile backers and out-of-state money. The pro-marijuana campaign had backers ranging from ex-Facebook president Sean Parker to New York hedge fund billionaire George Soros who helped the campaign raise $16 million.
This is not the first time the iconic sign has been changed to read “Hollyweed.” Cal State University student Daniel Finegood first updated the sign as part of an art class assignment on New Year’s Day in 1976. This was also the day California first relaxed its laws on marijuana, a change which classified possession of up to one ounce of the drug as a misdemeanor, rather than a felony.
[Featured Image by AP/AP Images]