are in Library / Coffeeshops
Quantum Leaf - Worthing's first coffeeshop
the 26th June 2002, in an adjoining room to his existing headshop "Bongchuffa",
Chris Baldwin opened Worthing's first Dutch-style coffeeshop - "Quantum Leaf".
This coffeeshop proceeded smoothly with its business for several months with especial
attention given to involve and support those people who use cannabis for medical
the end of October, the cafe was raided by more than 30 police officers equipped
with bulletproof vests, helmets and battering rams. A large quantity of cannabis
was "recovered" by the police and 12 arrests were made. Chris, who was
one of the 12 arrested, immediately reopened the cafe, saying "They'll have
to lock me up to stop me.".
a fortnight later, as part of "Operation Thor", the police raided the
cafe once more. Once again they arrested Chris for allowing his premises to be
used for cannabis usage, along with another person for possession of approximately
a joint's worth of cannabis. Sadly, due to the increasing police pressure and
an eviction notice subsequently served by the letting agents, Spratt's Estate
Agents, the cafe was forced to close on the 25th January 2003, seven months after
then, Chris Baldwin and his associates have been through a series of court trials,
fiercely protested by campaigners from Worthing and beyond. On the 3rd February
Chris Baldwin, Mark Benson and Adrian Allday appeared in the Magistrates Court
and were released on bail. As reported in the local paper, the Argus, all 3 were
charged with permitting the premises to be used for cannabis usage, and Chris
and Mark both were additionally charged with the possession and supply of cannabis.
the 18th February, Chris, Mark and Adrian re-appeared in court. Chris entered
no plea, and Mark and Adrian pleaded not guilty to the charges and all three were
once again bailed. Whilst this was going on, between 70 - 100 activists held a
peaceful protest outside the court to show their support for Chris' venture and
for the legalisation of cannabis. During the trial the campaigners held a march
to the Town Hall, the police station and returned to court to meet Chris as he
left. No arrests were made despite obvious further use of cannabis.
reappeared in court at the beginning of April, along with Winston Matthews who
has been charged with "being the
occupier of premises permitting a drug
offence". Again, all were released on bail and they will return again on
the 15th April, where their trials will probably be taken to the Crown Court.
The Worthing protesters used this day to hold a further demo for the legalisation
of cannabis. Being April Fool's day, the theme was a fancy dress competition and
as can be seen below there were some very inventive costumes on show!
supplied by Sarah Chalk, taken by Argus photographer Eddie Mitchell. Many thanks
protesters made banners and marched down to the Town Hall. They then presented
the councillors with a petition of 500 signatures to support the legalisation
campaign. A supportative Liberal Democrat MP came out to speak to them, and gave
a friendly interview to Paul Dooner and Sarah Chalk. Clara O'Donnell, from the
Legalise Cannabis Alliance, was also present and wrote a report of the day which
you can read here.
and associates are due back in court on Tuesday the 15th April and another demo
is planned outside the Magistrates Court at 9:30AM. If you are able, UKCIA
urges you to turn up and show your support!