A JUDGE handed out a lecture on the dangers of cannabis before jailing an 18-year-old for 12 months for dealing the drug.

In a stark warning to other dealers Judge John Boggis QC, pictured, told Javed Miah: "I wish people like you could be in this court regularly and understand the serious effect cannabis has on users.

"I don't subscribe to the view it's recreational and it's no big deal to be smoking or selling cannabis.

"My experience of people I see in this court is that almost without exception they are seriously damaged by the use of cannabis.

"It certainly leads to mental illness.

"It is in my judgement a dangerous drug. Those who deal in it must expect to go to prison."

Miah, who worked at electricals store Comet, was brought before Southampton Crown Court after police raided his New Forest home.

They found a deal list, £160 in cash, and a plastic deal bag in his car. Clingfilm and scales with traces of cannabis were found in a garage safe. A small amount of the drug was also seized.

Miah, of Lower Ashley Road, New Milton, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

He said he had bought four-and-a-half ounces of cannabis for £300 and sold it over three or four months to friends and experienced smokers for clothes and trainers.

The College of Royal Psychiatrists says that in spite of Government warnings about health risks, many people see cannabis as a harmless substance, while recent research suggests that it can be a major cause of psychotic illnesses in those who are genetically vulnerable.

Before January 2004, it was classified as a Class B drug. It is currently a Class C drug alongside anabolic steroids and tranquillisers such as valium and temazepam.

The maximum sentence for possession is two years. A 14-year prison sentence can be handed down for supply.