Pubdate: Mon, 16 Dec 2002
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Address: Argus House, Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury, Brighton, BN1 8AR
Fax: 01273 566114
Copyright: 2002 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Huw Borland


Customers were questioned by drugs squad officers as police raided a shop 
and cafe run by a cannabis campaigner.

Police equipped with bulletproof vests, helmets and battering rams rushed 
into the cafe and a strong smell of burning herbs and incense spread into 
the street.

More than 30 officers were involved and seized a substance believed to be 
herbal cannabis.

More than 20 customers were spoken to by officers during the raid at the 
Quantum Leaf cafe in the back room of Bongchuffa in Rowlands Road, Worthing.

The shop is run by Chris Baldwin, who stood as a Legalise Cannabis Alliance 
candidate in East Worthing and Shoreham in the last General Election.

Bongchuffa sells a variety of smoking paraphernalia, including pipes and 
cigarette papers.

Quantum Leaf is based on coffee shops in Amsterdam. A display cabinet with 
what looks like an array of different types of marijuana is fixed to a wall.

Police raided the property following complaints from nearby residents.

Inspector Allan Lowe, in charge of the raid, said the exercise had been 

He said: "It is important for public confidence in Worthing that we do take 
action of this kind.

"It is very important we are methodical and meticulous and that is what we 
are doing. No one in there is causing difficulties. We are making sure 
everyone is searched."

Mike Allday, who provides security at the coffee shop, said: "I provide 
personal protection for the owner because he is a disabled fellow and 
obviously a target. I also enforce the rules of no under-18s, no dealing 
and no alcohol.

"I think all this is unnecessary because it was a bit heavy-handed. We 
could have put bars on the windows but we have not done that. It's not that 
sort of place. We are not trying to do any harm."

Mr Baldwin was unavailable for comment.

A police spokesman said no one had been charged but 12 people had been 
arrested and were helping with inquiries.

He said a large quantity of cannabis had been recovered.