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UK: Protesters Cry: Free Jailed Cannabis Campaigner Chris

Emily Bridges

Worthing Herald

Thursday 22 Jan 2004


Supporters of cannabis campaigner Chris Baldwin are calling for him to be
released from prison.

A group of protesters were yesterday due to demonstrate outside the
government's Whitehall offices to demand that Baldwin, who was sentenced to six
months' imprisonment for cannabis related offences recently, to be freed

Following the peaceful protest, which was due to start at noon, the group were
planning to spend the night "homeless" in St James' Park, London, in sympathy
with Baldwin, of Carnegie Close, Worthing.

Clara O'Donnell, of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, said :" With the law change
taking place in less than two weeks, it seems a little mad that Chris Baldwin,
who uses cannabis for medical purposes and cannot walk without crutches, will
be locked in a cell at a huge cost to the taxpayer."

A second protest is planned for Wednesday outside Parliament, followed by a
demonstration outside the Home Office on Thursday.

Baldwin was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for his part in the running
of Quantum Leaf cafe in Rowlands Road, Worthing.


Keith Chalk. 36, of Goring Road, Worthing, was given a 160-hour community
punishment order on Friday after pleading guilty to five counts of supplying

Chichester Crown Court heard that Chalk, who campaigns for the legalisation of
the drug, sold cannabis to undercover police at Buddies Cafe, Brougham Road,
East Worthing, in June.

Judge Anthony Thorpe said he took into account the sentences passed by Judge
John Sessions on Chris Baldwin, Winston Matthews and Mark Benson recently for
similar offences.




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