Pubdate: Thu,  4 Jul 2002
Source: Herald, The (UK)
Copyright: 2002 The Herald


The back room of the Bong Chuffa shop, in Rowlands Road,Worthing, is being 
converted into a cafe by campaigners anticipating legalisation of the class 
B drug.

Chris Baldwin, East Worthing Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) candidate in 
the last general election, is at the heart of the project.

"We're building a coffee shop here for the future when the laws change we 
will have everything in place," said Chris.

"Once we've got it built out the back, you can call that my folly. I can 
theme my back room any way I like. It would be a working coffee shop, ready 
in place.

"Police can come down and have a look. What we are selling in the store is 
completely legal. If we're not selling it, someone else will. We are not 
exclusive in the world."

Chris, who went to Amsterdam in April for a course on how to run a cannabis 
cafe, featured in a number of Herald stories following Home Secretary David 
Blunkett's proposed relaxation of cannabis laws.

"The LCA in Worthing actually stayed quiet for a while," said Chris. "We 
had done all the interviews, said everything we were going to say and 
people were asking when will we open a coffee shop?

"Well, we're doing it now. The biggest enquiries so far have been whether 
we have got any cannabis to sell. Of course, we say 'No'."

Talking about the store, he said: "Bong Chuffa is about the campaign and 
about us. Obviously we have to make money to eat and pay the rent, but it's 
not about making money, it's a community project. All the work that's been 
done has been done by friends for free.

"The coffee shop itself, in my opinion, is democracy. It will win the day. 
Democracy is the will of the people. Those who are against legalisation 
better speak up now because so many are speaking for it."
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