the Dutch Experience, as time goes on, a substantial number of small local coffeeshops
are opening quitely, without any publicity. UKCIA does not intend to document
the entire scene - understandably many of these enterprises are "underground"
in nature, but below are links and information about a few, both planned and opened.
south coast town was the second place to have a coffee shop - the Dutch Experience
2 (DE 2), which opened an industrial estate in Boscombe.. There was frantic activity
in the run-up to opening and the shop attracted a lot of attention from the media
and its owner, Jimmy Ward, was happy to milk the publicity.
result was a very popular venue which soon attracted a lot of customers. However,
the local police, spurred on by prohibition supporting local councillors raided
the shop in early May, less than a month after it opened. The raid involved some
60 officers in what can only be described as an over the top show of force.
landlord has now served an eviction notice on Jimmy.
Read the report from the BBC
coffee shop later opened in Accrington, Lancashire. Called the "Dutch Way"
it was ran by Frank Mac, and his wife Margaret. It opened above their existing
business in Warner Street, a tattoo parlour called Studio One. After some planning
permission issues were resolved with the council, it was clear from a petition
of over 1000 signatures,to be given to Prime Minister Tony Blair, from local residents
and traders, that there was support for such a venture.
police raid took place on the 10th October 2002, arresting one man for possession
of cannabis. This did not close the coffeeshop - rather it intensified Mr Mac's
resolve, who said "We must stand up for our rights. It's business as usual.
It's war." and called for a mass demonstration in support of the legalisation
of cannabis and introduction of coffee shops.
enterprise had the support of at least some of the local councillors. Hyndburn
councillor John Burke has been quoted as saying "I think it [cannabis] should
be legalised and taxed. It would also take it away from the streets and put it
into an environment like this [coffee shop] which is more adult based." He
has joined forces with fellow councillor David Myles to call for an overhaul of
drug legislation and to encourage local MPs to read and sign the Angel
Decleration which seeks the outright repeal of drugs prohibition.
LCA candidate Chris Baldwin and associates went a step further and opened 2 coffeeshops
in Worthing, a town on the South Coast of England. The first, Quantum Leaf, has
been repeatedly raided and forced to close down, but Buddy's stayed open for business
for some time before finally being shut down.
brief account of the Quantum Leaf's battles, Chris' ongoing trial and the plentiful
support of protesters from Worthing and beyond
second, Buddies, was forced to close in August 2003 due to a week long police
'seige' , but not before it celebrated its first birthday on the 26th June 2003
Chalk telling the story of the Worthing coffeeshops Sept 2003 - 3.41MB MP3
coffeeshop - The verdict
the LCA exec 9th January 2004
The Worthing coffeeshop court case has
finished and sentence has been passed.
Baldwin: 6 month sentence as a result of a previous suspended sentence of 15 months
and 3 x 6 month sentences concurrent to that. The Judge has said he must not serve
more than half of this (3 months) and that he had no alternative but to put him
Winston Mathews: 4x4 month suspended sentences, including possession of 1/4 kilo
of grass and 1/4 kilo of hash and 2 cases of selling £10 deals to undercover
police in the coffee shop.
Benson: 6 months 12 hours curfew, for being involved with the running of the coffee
of them got any sentence or punishment for possession or personal amounts or for
the cultivation of plants for medical and recreational use.
Judge said "They should all be given credit for their guilty pleas"
accepted there was NO monetary motivation and accepted that they were all
medical users and that they will probably continue to be, he said "Chris
Baldwin was a sincere and honest person".
campaigners show support for Chris Baldwin
London 21st January 2004
demonstration by friends and supporters of Chris Baldwin took place on Wednesday
21st January. Chris is serving a prison sentence as a result of his involvement
with the Worthing coffeeshop project.
report is just in from LCA member Sarah Chalk:
Trev, Andy and myself) arrived, slightly late, to find the demo in full swing.
we were told that the media had been swarming to do interviews, most of the big
news channels did interviews, with various demonstrators. The mood was great and
I think we achieved our objective - to highlight Chris Baldwin's plight in HMP
Highdown. The interviews continued, with Dottie Baldwin (age 81) receiving the
attention she so rightly deserves. Before I arrived, one demonstrator was approached
by the police and searched because he was smoking a joint. He had cannabis on
him and the police confiscated it, but allowed him to continue demonstrating.(I
am sure that Winston will fill you in on the detail).
On the whole, the
police were very pleasant and thanked us for our co-operation. We moved down to
Parliament Square, where we continued to demonstrate with many car horns tooting
as they drove past. We left early, but a group of demonstrators remained, shouting
their support for Chris Baldwin.
Chris Baldwin addressing
the LCA conference in 2003
has suffered from spastic paraplegia since the age of seven, which causes leg
tremors and he uses cannabis to ease these symptoms. We understand that because
he has had no medicine since Friday, he is in quite a lot of discomfort.
He is now a free man again and is clear of all outstanding charges in relation
to the coffeeshop experiment.
Haze cafe raided
men and a woman were arrested for alleged possession of cannabis at the Purple
Haze Cafe in Edinburgh. It is understood that Paul Stewart, the owner of the café
in Leith, was one of the three arrested.
Stewart said he wanted to highlight the discrepancy between the way that the reclassification
of the drug was being implemented on different sides of the border.
the rest of the UK the presumption of arrest has been taken away, but that presumption
still remains in Scotland," he said.
Socialist Party MSPs Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne signed up to become members
of the cafe.
story - BBConline
cafe closed a few weeks later.