The sign was vandalized sometime during the night, but it wasn't permanently damaged. The trespassers simply threw a few tarps over the Hollywood Os to change them into Es. The tarps are easily removable, keeping the original sign intact.
Someone changed the Hollywood sign overnight. This is real. Staring at it now. pic.twitter.com/HptMzAURla— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) January 1, 2017
"Hollyweed" comes shortly after the state of California passed a law saying the recreational marijuana usage is finally legal in the state. However, local businesses won't be licensed to sell the product until January 1, 2018 – a whole year away.
So, was this vandalism trying to encourage licensing to move faster, or a simple celebration of the ability to finally smoke without the worry of being arrested? The incident was completely caught on the surveillance cameras in the area, so the LAPD is investigating the misdemeanor trespassing crime. So, the vandals might explain their actions in the future.
This isn't the first time the Hollywood sign has been changed – it isn't even the first time it has been changed to say Hollyweed. Back in 1923, California State University, Northridge students changed the sign, in the same way, hanging curtains on the Os. The sign has also been changed to say "Ollywood," and it was changed to "Holywood" in 1987 when the Pope visited.
Of course, the sign has also legally been changed to cheer on sports teams in the past. But it is always more fun when it is harmlessly changed illegally.
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[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]