Anthony Johns, 47, of Farne Avenue in South Shields, admitted to a charge of having a quantity of cannabis, which is a Class B controlled drug.
Police stopped a car in the town on July 6, after concerns the occupants were acting suspiciously, South Tyneside magistrates heard.
Johns was a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle and a small bag of cannabis was found in his pocket.
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Defending, Val Bell, said: "He was entirely compliant from the start. It was a very small amount of cannabis for personal use. He does suffer from depression and finds using cannabis helps that."
Johns was fined £80 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.