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Marijuana Prints - wonderful examples of Hippy 60's Chic


In 1964, or thereabouts, an unknown artist created four designs to be put forward to the tobacco companies in the USA. This artwork, was designed for the packaging of four of the leading varieties of Marijuana at the time. It was hoped by the Flower Power Children that marijuana would be legalised in the USA and sold over the counter. These designs were to form the branding for those cigarette packs, in which the readymade herbal cigarette would be sold.

These designs were once lost to the world and only found some 37 years later. The original pre-print material was found during an office clearance in America. Marijuanaprints.co.uk now owns these recovered treasures. Featuring the four most favoured herbal smokes of that time, which were arguably, Red Lebanese (Hash) Indian Temple Ball (Hash) Acapulco Gold (Weed) and Moroccan Pollen, the essence of mind blowing highs.

Marijuanaprints.co.uk bring you these wonderful designs as A3 prints, which are available exclusively from Marijuanaprints.co.uk These images can also be printed on to t-shirts, diner mates etc, via our bespoke printing service. There are quantity considerations but we are willing to listen to interested offers. They can even print in a larger size if requested, and quantity/price is agreed upon.
These wonderful examples of Hippy 60's Chic are a timeless reminder of the period, captured forever by this beautiful artwork. And when printed onto T-shirts for sale at pop venues, it is a great way to make a considerable income for some enterprising person. So contact Rod if interested...

Here, Digger talks to Rod Hedges who has made these wonderful prints available for sale.



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Digger: Can you tell us the background to these prints please Rod?

Rod: In about 1964/65 in America, when it was all happening, people were into free love, peace and rock concerts and all that kind of thing. They got into drugs because of the influence of The Beatles when they went to India and did all that sort of stuff. The Hippy scene developed, we believe in Santa Monica (where we believe the prints were discovered) and the hope was that smoking marijuana was going to be legalised.

Digger: In some places it was.

Rod: Yes, but not in the States, as has been done in Holland for example. While those petitions were being put forward to the American government saying ďcome on - Legalise MarijuanaĒ, an artist had an bright idea to make four cigarette packet designs. Each print would have been used on the packet of herbal cigarettes. The four prints that were designed by the artist were the four most popular highs of that time.

Digger: We donít know who this artist is do we?

Rod: I tried to track him/her down a long time ago and unfortunately, no, I just could not find out anything to do with him/her. And as we now know, it didnít become legal. Each of the prints that you see was hand carved out of a block of wood. When printing, they had to do one colour at a time then re-printed it, cleaned the block and do it again and each time it would have been an individual layer of a colour.

Digger: I remember doing that at school.

Rod: There you go Ė me too, so you will remember you canít get it right every time! And that has been carried through to the prints we are producing. Weíre keeping it like that so that itís original in every way possible. That is the basis behind these Sixties Icon prints being offered, that were found in Santa Monica.

Digger: Thatís the perfect place for them to be from.

Rod: Yes, a company was clearing out a property in Santa Monica and an old friend of mine who I met when we were young students in England worked for them. He went back to America. He rang me and said ďHere Rod, Iíve found something that will be right up your street.Ē  He explained what he found to me and I said ďSend them to me mate.Ē He sent them to me and when I saw them I thought ďWow, this is something.Ē But then, I did nothing with them either. I put them in a drawer thinking I wanted to do something with them and needed to find out how to do it. I did some research to find out what I could do with them and also trying to find out who the artist was. I now own them, theyíre mine and Iím now starting to print them off. As a set of iconic sixties prints from the sixties, theyíre really quite fantastic and when theyíre hung together as a set of four, they really do look great.

Digger: They are instantly recognisable Ė itís as though youíve seen the images before the images are so strongly reminiscent of that time arenít they?

Rod: Yes absolutely.

Digger: Where and how do they look best?

Rod: Personally what I did this Christmas, was to give them as presents to my more mature friends. I mounted them in between two bits of quality glass that prevents the colours from fading. As a set of four, in a line, they look very good, but when you put them one, two, three four in a block, they really do look the business.  Iíve had phone calls from my friends saying ďCor Rod, these are fantastic." ďHow much?Ē "I want a set for my mate.Ē And as the set is affordable, it looks like Iím going to get some sales already.

Digger: Theyíve all got different sorts of house styles?

 

 

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Rod: Yes, one friend says he is going to put them in his toilet so he can see them every day. I said ďThatís not being disrespectful is it?Ē and he said ďNo Rod, Iím going to stick them there because I like to spend some time in the bathroom in the mornings." Another friend is putting them up his stairs and another friend of mine has put them on a wall in his lounge. He says they look fantastic and causes a lot of conversation among guests.  He also suggested I should print these on T-Shirts and as diner place mats.Ē Iím looking into that now.
As a pensioner, I need to watch the pennies like everybody else and I donít want to run before I can walk. Iím trying to make a nice little business that I can do from home that will provide some income for me and my lady.

Digger: I was at the Bestival a couple of months ago and thatís a real family event and quite a retro feel to it. Quite a few 70s and 80s bands there as well as the contemporary ones. These prints as T-Shirts would go down well with that crowd. Thereís no ageism there.

Rod: Music should do that Ė thatís the great thing about music.

Digger: What did/does the sixties mean to you?

Rod: I have to say for me the sixties was a wonderful time because it gave a lot of freedom to people for the first time. I was training to be a chef at Guildford College Ė I qualified but I found that I had a weakness in my eyes and that the grills in kitchens of that time, would cook my eyeballs.  So I thought ďThatís it then.Ē So I went off to America, with the daffodil in my hand (flower power) and hitchhiked around the States, Mexico and South America. I also went to India and did all that sort of thing. Thatís what it did for me Ė it gave me the freedom to see the world and to experience other cultures and new foods. It was amazing because the furthest Iíd ever gone was perhaps the Isle of Wight. It was one of those times when you suddenly got itchy feet and just wanted to see the World.  The world was a much nicer place then. You could travel and people were interested in what you were doing.

Digger: You saw these places before they changed forever.

Rod: Iíve been to Ceylon and to Persia and, as you know Ė they have changed their names. But it was lovely then, so thatís what it meant to me and it gave me what I still have, which is that youngish outlook because of the sixties. Now Iím into fitness and health and not drugs. Iím into music, but keeping fit is my bag Ė thatís my drug Ė going to the gym every day. At my age, you need to keep things together, before it all hits the floor!

Digger: I went for three years Ė three times a week, but unfortunately I just got bored with it in the end.

Rod: It is hard to go to a gym on a regular basis. Thereís a lot of mental discipline needed. For me personally, it is now a habit, so itís not too difficult. But there are times when I think ďOh no, I donít really want to go today.Ē And when I feel like that I donít go because I know that mentally I wonít do it properly and I wonít get the benefit or pleasure out of the programme. The mind wanders and Iíll be thinking of other things to do instead!

Digger: Iím still walking every day.

Rod: Walking is perhaps one of the best cardio exercise you can do because it is minimal impact and if you walk at twice your normal walking speed, you will get into a rhythm that will do you a power of good.

Digger: I tend to walk to the speed of the track on the iPod.

Rod: Thatís good. But do you ever get a stitch when youíre walking?

Digger: Only uphill.

Rod: If you get stitches then breath in when your left foot hits the ground.

Digger: Really?

Rod: Itís the side that your heartís on and that should stop the stitches.

Digger: I never knew that. Thatís useful, you need to learn something new every day.

Rod: Yeah, good init?!

Digger: Do you think these prints will appeal to the younger generation?

Rod: I hope so. I would like to sell to anybody with a twinkle in their eye and who appreciates something very different on their wall. I hope they could appeal to the younger generation. Itís a question of if they get the opportunity to view them? But I have priced the set so that they are affordable for anybody.

Digger: Yes, theyíre very keenly priced.

Rod: Although I like to earn money like anybody else, I do not want to restrict  the sales of these superb prints because of a price. I want to encourage people to say ďPhwor, twenty five quid including protective packaging and postage? Iíll have some of that.Ē

Digger: I think thatís a very good place for them to be. You donít want to be restrictive or exclusive and I think thatís very well priced and youíll probably get the volumes there as well with people probably buying the four.

Rod: The thing is, I would expect people to buy the set. I have no plans to sell individual prints.

Digger: Great. So who else are buying these prints?

Rod: At the moment the website is not actually live yet. Itís up of course because you found me. The site should be live within the next couple of weeks. Iím going to be linked into Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, so the message can spread virally. But I would say to anybody with a twinkle in their eye, or to those that regularly smoke marijuana, certainly those who were around in the sixties, will get a lot of pleasure from just having these on the wall. I have a lady friend who I always invited in for a Christmas drink and she stood looking at them and didnít know what they were. She said ďArenít they pretty Ė arenít they a lovely colour?Ē And in the end it was her daughter who said ďMum, let me explain?..." and when she was told what they depicted, she said ďReally? But I liked them just for the picturesĒ.

 

 

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Digger: Why is retro and nostalgia so popular? And it really is huge Rod.

Rod: I think people nowadays are harking back to the old times in a way when it was a much nicer place and a nicer time. I know times change and they do for every generation, but we all harken back to something that was nicer when we were younger.

Digger: Will we ever know who the artist was?

Rod: I donít think so. My gut feeling is that the artist may well of passed away.  

Digger: So are there any more sixties art items in the pipeline?

Rod: Not from me, because this is really a one-off product business. Apart from the T-shirts and table place mats settings that may come along later. Iím going to treat this business as a nice part-time job to do at home. Keep the brain working!

Digger: You might be surprised because youíll be getting people contacting you who are in the know and in the retro business as it were asking if they can sell them or suggesting that you sell items for them. That will happen.

Rod: Iíve got to think on that one! All I really want to do is have this little business that is also a bit of fun for me as well as keeping me busy and earning me some income.
 

Digger: Well, thanks for letting us know about these prints Rod. And happy New Year to you.

Rod: And to you David.

 

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