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
bring you these wonderful designs as A3 prints, which are
available exclusively from
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.
Digger: Can you
tell us the background to these prints please 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
In some places it was.
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
We donít know who this artist is do we?
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
I remember doing that at school.
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.
Thatís the perfect place for them to be from.
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.
They are instantly recognisable Ė itís as though
youíve seen the images before the images are so strongly
reminiscent of that time arenít they?
Where and how do they look best?
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.
Theyíve all got different sorts of house styles?
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.
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.
Music should do that Ė thatís the great thing about
What did/does the sixties mean to you?
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.
You saw these places before they changed forever.
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
I went for three years Ė three times a week, but
unfortunately I just got bored with it in the end.
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
Iím still walking every day.
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.
I tend to walk to the speed of the track on the iPod.
Thatís good. But do you ever get a stitch when youíre
If you get stitches then breath in when your left foot
hits the ground.
Itís the side that your heartís on and that should
stop the stitches.
I never knew that. Thatís useful, you need to learn
something new every day.
Yeah, good init?!
Do you think these prints will appeal to the younger
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.
Yes, theyíre very keenly priced.
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
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
The thing is, I would expect people to buy the set. I have
no plans to sell individual prints.
Great. So who else are buying these prints?
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.
Digger: Why is retro and nostalgia so popular? And it
really is huge 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
Will we ever know who the artist was?
I donít think so. My gut feeling is that the artist may
well of passed away.
So are there any more sixties art items in the pipeline?
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!
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.
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.
And to you David.