‘Drug like Russian roulette’

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A SENIOR judge has warned the public that those who take cannabis are playing Russian roulette with their mental health.

Judge Roger Thorn highlighted the potential dangers in the case of a user of the drug who set up a farm to grow his own supply at home.

The judge, sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, said recent research indicates one in four cannabis users will trigger psychosis because of what they are doing.

He added: “If you hope to be one of the three out of the four who get away with, it you are playing Russian roulette.”

Judge Thorn deferred sentence for six months and warned Hugh Anderson he must kick his cannabis habit or go to jail.

Anderson, 46, of John Street, Boldon, had been caught with a £5,000 cannabis farm in his home, which he admitted to police he would use himself and also sell on to friends.

The judge said he was concerned Anderson, who admitted producing a controlled drug of class B, supplying cannabis and possession of a small amount of amphetamine, seems to consider the drug an “everyday substance that people can take”.

Judge Thorn said Anderson, who said his home feels “empty without the drugs” will receive a community sentence if he gives up cannabis and makes a real effort to find work.

But the judge warned: “If you do not comply I’m afraid it is straight off to prison.”

John Wilkinson, defending, said Anderson has substantially reduced his cannabis taking after seeking help.