Lee Maddison, who is now 27, now has such a heavy habit he says he spends up to £100 a day on the class B drug.
Until now he has insisted that, despite mental problems that could have been caused by it, cannabis wasn’t doing him any harm and he could give it up any time he liked.
But in court today he admitted for the first time that he needed help to give it up.
Maddison, who lives in a caravan in Coal Fell Avenue, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis.
He was given a community order, which will include 12 months of drugs rehabilitation and regular checks to make sure he is not using any illegal substances.
Judge Peter Hughes QC told him that if he thought cannabis was harmless he was wrong because its prolonged use had been proved to cause psychological problems or exacerbate old ones.