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Marijuana banner flies from Deception Pass Bridge

Mark Maxwell, 22, left, and Jordan White, 21, both of Oak Harbor, look at a flag WSDOT crews removed from Deception Pass bridge Tuesday morning. - Photo courtesy Jefferson L. Morriss
Mark Maxwell, 22, left, and Jordan White, 21, both of Oak Harbor, look at a flag WSDOT crews removed from Deception Pass bridge Tuesday morning.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Jefferson L. Morriss

A state crew Tuesday morning removed a large, white banner with the image of a cannabis leaf that was hanging from the south arch of the Deception Pass bridge.

Pranksters had risked injury -- or worse -- sometime Sunday night to display the banner in anticipation of a holiday known among pot smokers as "420."

"What they did was very dangerous and we hope that it's not repeated," Dave Chesson, Washington state Department of Transportation Communications said.

Banners are allowed to hang from Washington state bridges as long as WSDOT issues a permit and the flag is safely attached to the bridge, he said.

According to Chesson, removal of the weed-depicting banner that read "Smoke buds! Happy B-day 420," in addition to several initials, took about 20 minutes and cost WSDOT $1,096.

A heavy blanket of fog delayed the crew's banner-removal work by more than an hour and half Tuesday morning.

John Weida, Washington state bridge supervisor, was among the five-person, banner-removal crew.

"This doesn't happen too often," he said of the unofficial posting of non-peritted banners on Washington bridges.

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