YORK'S top judge has warned against skunk cannabis after two police forces combined to put a cannabis dealer behind bars.

Rob Galley, prosecuting, said North Yorkshire Police stopped Richard Alan Morton, 48, on Turnpike Road, Tadcaster, on June 17, 2018, with 238g of mostly skunk cannabis.

He was the passenger in a car driven by a man he said knew nothing about the drugs.

The same day, West Yorkshire Police searched Morton's Pontefract home and a Castleford business premises linked to him.

Both had cannabis growing operations with enough plants between them to produce between one and three kilos of skunk cannabis. Police also found harvested skunk cannabis.

Morton's solicitor advocate Stephen Swan said he had turned to cannabis "several years ago" to help with mental health problems and had come under pressure from drug dealers to "help out" when he ran up a £2,500 drug debt.

"You probably caused your own mental health problems by taking this evil drug that people think is safe," said the resident judge of York Crown Court, Judge Sean Morris.

"It is not a recreational drug, it is a dangerous drug.

"When you started getting involved with drug dealers, you get into trouble.

"You peddled your fair share as we can see from what you were caught with."

He jailed Morton for 20 months.

Morton, of Luke William House, Horsefair, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply it, two charges of production of cannabis and possession of a Class C drug.

He ordered the confiscation of £775 cash found on Morton or at his house.

Mr Swan said Morton was now using prescription medicine.