Pubdate: Fri, 27 Dec 2002
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2002 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Huw Borland
Cited: Legalise Cannabis Alliance


A pro-cannabis campaigner whose Amsterdam-style coffee shops were raided by
police is planning to launch another bid to enter politics. Activist Chris
Baldwin intends to stand in Worthing Borough Council elections next May and
is confident he can "at least snap at the heels" of more established

Both Mr Baldwin and his friend and fellow Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA)
member Phil Lockwood, from Worthing, plan to start campaigning for the Heene
and Selden ward seats, where Mr Baldwin has been running two coffee shops.
Quantum Leaf cafe, in Rowlands Road and Buddy's Hydroponics cafe, in
Brougham Road, were raided by police on December 11 as part of an operation
to reduce crime in area. Officers arrested several people for drug-related
offences, including Mr Baldwin.

He has since been served an eviction notice for the Rowlands Road cafe by
letting agents Spratt's.

Mr Baldwin, LCA candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham in the last General
Election, said he was looking forward to another political tussle. Mr
Baldwin said: "We're definitely aiming for Heene and Selden wards. "Phil
Lockwood and I both stood in the last General Election, Phil tried for a
seat in Yorkshire and is very experienced.

"I got 920 votes in that election and I know it's different to a local
election but I found out the last councillor to be elected in Heene got in
on 920 votes.

"There is a lot of support in the town for the coffee shops and for us
personally and we have a chance of at least snapping at the heels and
worrying the other parties."

The Quantum Leaf's eviction notice said Mr Baldwin and his colleagues had to
be out of the site by Christmas Day.

Staff went ahead with a Christmas Day charity event for the homeless because
it had been planned weeks before.

Mr Baldwin, whose customers included people using cannabis for medicinal
purposes, said: "We served up soup and coffee for the town's homeless for
four hours."
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