Durham Constabulary has confirmed its position on cannabis.
It follows remarks by the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, who said that he wanted to see users in County Durham and Darlington put on courses to deal with their habits rather than being arrested and prosecuted.
A spokesman said: “Cannabis is an illegal drug in the UK and as such we as a police force take the production, distribution and use of it very seriously.
“Our approach is that we continue to proactively pursue those who make, sell or use it. The law in relation to use of illegal drugs is clear, those found in possession of a Class B drug such as cannabis can face up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.
“As well as enforcing the law we look for alternative methods to prevent or reduce drug use, including offering support and advice so offenders can change their behaviour rather than face criminal prosecution.”