between classes is such that there is no homogeneous public opinion, if I may
use the phrase." Mr. Gupta says local "opinion is not formally consulted, but
attention is paid to any reasonable objection raised against particular sites, though
most of the sites being old ones, it is seldom that they are objected to. More-
over, shops for the sale of hemp drugs are not considered a nuisance, and are
often accommodated in the same room where other busins is carried on." In
the North-Western Provinces, Mr. Cadell says: "I have never heard of any objec-
tions to drug shops. I have heard such objection regarding spirit shops. The
wishes of the community should be consulted. Hitherto the objection to drug
shops has always come from above, viz., from the Board, the Commissioner, or
the Collector." Mr. Stoker's evidence is to a similar effect. In the Punjab, Mr.
Gordon Walker says: "There is nothing in the nature of 'local option.' In
practice the shop sites remain as they have been established for a long time, and
the necessity for a change in the way of adding new shops or closing existing
ones seldom arises." It may, however, be noted that there is special provision
in the Punjab for inviting the opinion of the residents of a locality regarding the
opening of a new liquor shop and holding a local inquiry if necessary. Similarly
in the Central Provinces, there is a modified system of local option as regards
liquor shops, which are more than six times as numerous as ganja shops, but not in
regard to the latter. Mr. Drake-Brockman says that the administration has all along
shaped its policy on the assumption that the drug is extremely deleterious, and it
is a standing order that no more should be licensed than are necessary to meet the
demands of consumers, who, if a licit supply were not available, would probably
supply themselves illicitly. Mr. Laurie says: "In an agricultural province like this,
the people are not given to formulating their views in speech or writing; and
'public opinion' can only be arrived at by laborious research." In Madras "it has
been directed that in cases of alterations in the number or sites of shops in muni-
cipalities, a list of the proposed shops with their sites should be forwarded to the
Council in sufficient time to admit of its remarks being received and con-
sidered; and though in the rural tracts the location of shops is at the discretion of
Revenue officers, representations from District or Taluk Boards or Taluk Unions
would invariably be received with attention." In Bombay, Mr. Mackenzie says:
"There is no fixed rule as to local option. In some districts it is attended   to
carefully; in others the Collector uses his discretion according to the information
he possesses as to the demand; but in all any representation by the inhabitants
for or against the establishment of a shop would have full consideration. Such
representations, however, have seldom been made." The same is the case in
Sind. Mr. James, the Commissioner, says: "No concession of local option in the
matter of hemp drug shops has been made, nor is it necessary. Where there is
sufficient demand, the farmer applies for a shop, and retailers are all grocers, and

the drug forms an addition to their ordinary stock of groceries......A farmer does
not, like a publican at home, stimulate sales by accessories calculated to make his
shops attractive. He simply depends on the demand. The Collector and District
Magistrate, after consulting the local officials, is able to judge whether a shop
should be opened or not, and local residents other than the consumers of the drug
take no more interest in the matter than a tailor in an English country town in the
question whether a particular grocer down the street should have a license to sell
claret or not. The subordinate officials whom the Collector would consult before