On the first day of 2017, tourists and Los Angeles residents had the chance to witness an unusual, and perhaps hilarious, sight – late on the night of December 31, in what appears to be a New Year’s Eve prank, the Hollywood sign was altered to read as ‘Hollyweed’. 

The pranksters successfully managed to change the letters “O” of the sign to “E” with black tarps with a peace symbol and a heart, which local officers took down after 11 AM on the next morning. A similar turn of events had taken place 40 years ago, when activist Danny Finegood and his friends deliberately altered the sign to “deliver a message” to the world. 

California, a state that recently voted to make recreational marijuana legal for users over 21, is still struggling to stop pot criminalisation. The state seems to be a bit reluctant about disregarding marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic, and places the drug alongside others such as Heroin.

Another fact that stands out is that most of the charges involving marijuana involve low-waged black and Hispanic community.

The American Civil Liberties Union alleges that African Americans are four times more likely to be arrested than white folks for marijuana possession. While some consider the war on drugs (especially marijuana) as a deliberate a waste of money, which it could be invested in education, health, gun control and public safety, others are of the opinion that violence will not be stopped by decriminalising pot.

On ‘Result of Election Day 2016’ report, the CBA (Cannabis Business Alliance) claims that Colorado witnessed a boost on its economy since the state legalised marijuana activities, crossing $1 billion mark for annual marijuana sales.

On Election Day, five states voted on legalising adult-use (or recreational) Cannabis (Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada), and three states put legalising the plant for medical purposes on the ballot (Florida, Montana, North Dakota).

– Gabriel Santos, Correspondent (North America)

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