The Best 4/20 Gimmick: Austin's 8-Foot Willie Nelson Statue

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Let's not be naive: This whole 4/20 business is all about the green stuff—money. But on a day full of craven marketing to stoners, the ploy we can really get roll with is the unveiling of an eight-foot-tall statue of Willie Nelson in Austin at 4:20 p.m.

It was kind of cute that the distributors of Marley, a documentary about the reggae superstar, decided to release the film today, and yes, we get the joke in putting out a Grateful Dead video game today as well. But of all the stoner bait garnering puff pieces today, the Willie Nelson statue is the best because it's the most audacious. It's also the least overt marketing attempt, since Nelson really does mean a lot to the city of Austin. He moved there in 1972 and built his famous outlaw image, in tandem with Austin's music scene, and the city already named a street after him. Nelson, of course, also loooooooves weed

The basic story behind the statue is that a group of investors paid for Philadelphia sculptor Clete Shields to create an image of Austin's adopted son in bronze, and it's going in by the Moody Theater in Downtown Austin, Associated Press reports. (Why isn't the statue made out of stone, we wonder.) The whole thing is pretty much about getting high on municipal pride, but don't think it's not also about record sales. Nelson's got a new single, "Roll Me Up," featuring Snoop Dogg, that dropped today, too. In classic stoner fashion, dude knows how to get some green.

[Photo via YNN Austin reporter Victor Dias / Twitpic]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.