A CAMPAIGNER for the legalisation of cannabis has been sent to prison after 12 bags of the class C drug were found during a police raid on his home.

Victor Hamilton, 53, was sentenced to eight months in jail at Dorchester Crown Court, with Judge Roger Jarvis warning him no one is above the law'.

Arthritis sufferer Hamilton, who stood in the 2005 general election as a candidate for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, had pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis as well as breaching a suspended sentence.

Joanna Morrissey, prosecuting, said police executed a warrant to raid Hamilton's home in Ranelagh Road, Weymouth, on October 8 last year.

She said: "During the course of the search they found 12 sealable bags containing herbal cannabis, along with two sets of scales and a quantity of sealable bags.

"During the interview he stated the cannabis belonged to him and was used for personal use as he had a medical condition and felt it was his moral right to use it to treat that condition."

Miss Morrissey said the 12 bags contained a total of 36 grams of cannabis, with a street value estimated at £280.

She told the court that Hamilton had been before the courts for possession of cannabis twice before.

In April 2006 he was handed a seven-day prison sentence in default after he failed to pay a fine for possession of 55 grams of cannabis.

In December the same year he received a two-year sentence, suspended for 12 months, for possession of 132 grams of the drug.

Tim Shorter, mitigating, said: "He has a complex medical history, which isn't getting any better.

"He still asserts his moral right, however, he is aware that the court can't consider what may or may not be his moral right, but can only consider the law.

"He has, of course, held himself up to the risk of arrest by being such a high profile campaigner."

Judge Jarvis told the defendant: "It is clear that you have your own views on the consumption of cannabis and this view indicates there is no inclination on your part to comply with the legislation that is in place.

"You are well aware of the risks that you take and yet you willingly take those risks.

"You must understand that no one is above the law."

Judge Jarvis sentenced Hamilton to six months in prison for the possession offence and two months for breaching the suspended sentence, with the terms to be served consecutively.