The number of shops in Madras is only 246, and the allegation of some of
the witnesses that there is no need for shops because the consumers of ganja
can get ganja when they require it from the cultivators receives confirmation
from these statistics. In Bombay the number of shops is stated to be nearly double
the number of retail licenses, and the difference is not explained. The number
of souls per shop is only 24,681. No doubt density of population is an element in
the consideration, and thinly populated tracts will require more shops proportion-
ally than where population is dense; but the number of shops in the North-West-
ern Provinces, Punjab, Central Provinces, Sind, and Berar seem to require atten-
tion with reference to these remarks. A considerable reduction of shops has
been under consideration in the North-Western Provinces which was to come
into force in 1893-94.

(e) Consumption on the premises.

684. The hemp drug shops in British India are rarely used as smoking re-
sorts. They are not unfrequently shops where other
articles are also sold. If not, they are generally
small and incapable of affording accommodation for a number of persons. Ganja
smokers who smoke in company generally congregate in places of public resort
or in their own houses. And the evils which result from consumption of liquor
on the licensed premises in England may be said to be unknown in connection
with ganja shops. There are a few witnesses who in answer to the Commission's
question on the subject say that such shops are undesirable; but these remarks
are mainly founded on theoretical objections, not on practical experience. In
the Central Provinces consumption on the premises has been prohibited since
1891, but there is no information as to the origin of the prohibition. It seems
probable, however, that when the prohibition was issued as regards madak and
chandu, the clause was made to include the hemp drugs without special inquiry.
In the City of Bombay there are two classes of shops—those in which consump-
tion on the premises is permitted, and those in which it is prohibited. With
reference to the former, Mr. Campbell, Collector, says: "I think it is a good thing
to have some shops in Bombay City where the drugs are consumed on the pre-
mises. It keeps the consumers under notice. The shops are bound to close at
a certain hour and the consumers to behave in an orderly manner. This tends
to regulate the practice and control the habits of consumers. The closing of
the chandu and madak shops is said to have really increased the number from
14 shops to about 150 clubs. The latter are not open to inspection or visit by
the authorities. As a matter of fact, too, consumption of ganja within licensed
shops is really small and shows no serious evil." Places for sale and consump-
tion of ganja are contemplated by the old Bengal Acts II of 1866 and IV of 1866
relating to Calcutta. The Excise law is generally silent on the subject. The
Commission have no recommendation to make on the subject which may be
left to the discretion of Local Governments. In the course of their inquiries in the
North-Western Provinces, it came to the notice of the Commission that in Luck-
now shops were kept by females (called Sakins) for the sale of hemp drugs. The
witness who mentioned the fact described the "Sakins" as "worse than pros-
titutes." The practice was brought to the notice of the Local Government, and
stringent orders prohibiting the grant of licenses to "Sakins" have been issued.
It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that in Assam, where indul-
gence in liquor sometimes is so rife among the coolies that the garden work is
entirely stopped, some planters have taken the shops themselves, and kept them