Hollywood becomes 'Hollyweed' in sign change prank

  • 02/01/2017

Changing the letters of the Hollywood sign above Los Angeles is an old tradition, and vandals struck again over New Year's Eve to change the sign to "Hollyweed."

Perhaps celebrating the first year in which marijuana will be completely legal in California, the stunt wasn't the first time the sign has read that way.

On New Year's Day, 1976, the day marijuana was decriminalised in the state, Hollywood resident Daniel N. Finegood was the first to have the idea that the sign could also celebrate pot.

Sergeant Robert Payan of the Los Angeles Police Department Security Services said there was security footage of the latest incident, but a suspect has not yet been identified.

Though the division has officers stationed above the sign, the pranksters were not seen by the officers, he said. The incident is being investigated as misdemeanour trespassing.

The amended sign was still up as of 6am Monday (NZ time). LA police officer Christopher Garcia told local TV station KTLA that police haven't been able to get a crew to fix it because it's a holiday.

Ever-increasing security has made it extremely difficult to access the sign. In recent years it has read "Save the Peak" and "Go UCLA," after earlier decades saw variations such as "Ollywood" for Oliver North and the Iran Contra hearings and "Holywood," an approved alteration for the Pope's visit in 1987.

Though marijuana was legalised in the state on the November ballot, residents will have to wait until shops are licensed after January 1, 2018 to be able to walk in and buy weed without a medical card.

In the meantime, Californians are free to use, possess and share cannabis.