On a quiet hillock in this sleepy educational township, students have voted to legalize marijuana for their own personal use.
“This is true democracy in action,” said Vijay Chauhan, who organized the election and encouraged his fellow hostel inmates to cast a “Yes” vote. “We’re law-abiding citizens here, who were tired of feeling like criminals every time we lighted up.” Arvind Kejriwal’s success in the Delhi elections has given us a fillip to practice true democracy, where each individual is fully capable of decision-making and making government policies.
The unanimous vote, conducted last Saturday at Block 19 in the MIT campus, allows hostelites to consume marijuana for recreational use inside their own rooms, in their lobbies and anywhere on the campus. This news comes close on the heels of Uruguay becoming the first country to legalize marijuana for general consumption.
Legal analysts disagree as to whether the extremely local ordinance, referred to as “The Smrithi Law,” would hold up in court. But Deewakar Shettigar, a defense attorney who lives in Manipal, believes the vote is a legitimate amendment to the Dakshina Kannada penal code, and has offered his legal services free-of-charge to any of the students who get arrested while smoking pot in their own rooms.
“It was a fair vote, conducted by the students, for the students and of the students — people determined to control their own destinies,” explained Shettigar. “What law in its right meaning would oppose that?”
As a result of the Smrithi Law, other university towns throughout India are considering conducting similar votes. Vijay Chauhan is planning to develop a website along the lines of the Aam Aadmi Party to enroll volunteers to draft a constitutional amendment and create a political party that is truly democratic!
“If the representatives we vote for aren’t going to vote for the things we want them voting for, ” he said in a slow, deliberate voice, often slurring his words for emphasis, “then we’re going to vote for those things ourselves.”