This artist says he was responsible for the 'Hollyweed' sign and explains why he did it

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Pranksters all around the world tipped their hats to whoever managed to change the iconic Hollywood sign to "Hollyweed" on New Year's Day. Now, the artist who claims he was responsible has come forward.

LA-based artist Zach Fernandez goes by the name "Jesushands" and, with a moniker like that, you can be sure that his reasons for the stunt went above and beyond "just for laughs".

Hollyweed
(Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Fernandez gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter, who sent actor and marijuana activist Tommy Chong to speak to him (if you don't recognise the name, you might remember Chong as the friendly stoner Leo on That '70s Show).

Chong gave the artist a present when they met and what else would it be than a pound of weed? Sounds about right.

So, what did Fernandez say about the sign? For him, it was a reaction to 2016 being such a tough year. He says: "I did it out of love and a certain peace from within."

He says it was "pot art," denying that it was an act of vandalism. Instead, it was all about "freedom of speech" - and in fact, he left the area cleaner than when he arrived.

Fernandez is also suitably "LA" about it, saying "it was a spiritual experience".

And Fernandez seems pretty proud of his efforts, Instagramming a picture of the sign with the caption: "In all it's glory." In the interview he showed no concerns about the potential legal ramifications, so it remains to be seen whether he will get prosecuted.

So there you have it: it looks like 2017 could very well become the year where "pot art" becomes a thing.