A Swedish hemp farmer was given an environmental prize in his local community for his efforts to fight a ban on the growing of industrial hemp.
Ulf Hammarsten faced criminal narcotics charges after police confiscated his first hemp plants seven years ago, The Local newspaper said Thursday.
Hammarsten eventually earned the right to continue growing hemp when he defeated the Swedish authorities in an EU court case, ending a 30 year ban, the newspaper said.
"It became clear to me quite early that this was an environmentally friendly crop that cleanses the Earth," he told Sveriges Radio. "Hemp sucks up substances that destroy the soil such as industrial fertilizer and pesticides."
The industrial uses of hemp include the production of paper, food, oil, fuel, paint, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International