A TEENAGER from Poole has made a television film to warn other young people about the dangers of cannabis - widely regarded as a “soft” drug.

Jade Clement started smoking cannabis when she was 13 and had become addicted by the time she turned 16. Now drug-free, she says: “I don't want anybody going through what I went through.

“Cannabis turned me into a monster. I was selfish, paranoid, and ultimately hurting the people I love and who love me.”

Jade, 16, gave up her habit after her mother discovered she had been meeting a local drug dealer on a regular basis. “When my mum found out, it hit me that I must give up,” she says.

“I was stealing money from her, distancing myself from her, and just destroying my relationship with her. I had already lost my friends, and it looked like I was losing my mum too.”

She became a “fixer” under a Public Service Broadcasting Trust scheme funded by the Big Lottery. It helps youngster of 16-25 take action to change things for the better with creative help from media professionals to make their own promotional material.

Jade's story will feature on ITV's Meridian Tonight at 6pm tomorrow. She also hopes to take her film around Poole, with talks and workshops for groups of young people who may be exposed to cannabis.

“If I could put just one person off trying cannabis, then I will have done my job,” she says. “It is quite an easy drug to get hold of, but that does not mean the effects are easy to deal with.”

Mental health professionals have long warned that cannabis can contribute to mental health issues. In vulnerable individuals, just one use has been known to trigger psychosis, or serious mental illness. Habitual and prolonged smoking of cannabis also increases the risk of developing lung disease, including cancer.