| 1950 - 1960 | 1960 - 1970 | 1970 - 1980 | 1980 - 1990 | 1990 - 2000 | 2000 - 2010 |

The Life Story of U.S. Hemp




1990 to 2000

1992 U.S. Hemp Sneakers:

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Sam started U.S. Hemp Clothing in 1992. He made the decision to go public about the Drug War and allowed himself to be affiliated with Willie Nelson, Jack Herrer and other high profile artists and activists. Until that time Sam had lived in the deep underground corridors of the “Drug War Opposition”.

Sam’s decision to start making shoes out of weed and going public alarmed his smuggler friends and political connections; and he managed to piss off every branch of Government all at once. Sam’s affiliation with Willie (especially at that time) was like pouring gas on your shirt and lighting a joint.

Way before Sam started U.S. Hemp Clothing he had acquired a great knowledge and feel of fine clothing. His clothing knowledge came from the clothing law of natural selection (don’t look at the price tag or designer label) Sam’s fashion formula was: Function + Feel + Fabric + Form = Fashion. He got the hemp fabrics from China and started making comfort clothes that he loved and believed in.

The Chinese have made their bedding and clothing from Hemp for thousands of years. Hemp is anti-bacterial by nature because it repeals moisture instead of absorbing and holding moisture the way cotton does. The 100% hemp canvas duck was the most amazing and perfect fabric for deck shoes. This particular fabric has been made at the National Mill in China for 400 years with little change. Sam spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on product research and development.

Sam was the first one to produce hemp shoes in the U.S.A. with the help of his friend Steve Van Doran of Van’s Shoes. Hemp fabric shoes kill “stink foot” for a simple reason. Hemp hates moisture. The old U.S. Customs Test for True Hemp is to put a strand in your mouth and it will twist (ring its self out) when it comes into contact with the moisture in the agent’s mouth; proving that it is, in deed, true hemp.

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U.S. Hemp Shoes (made in the U.S.A.) could have turned footwear around and made the world a healthier and more fashionable place but Americans loved Nike more.

At that time everyone else in the world wanted to wear clothes with labels “Made in the U.S.A.”. So the Chinese counterfeited them while the Feds shut down the clothing industry in El Paso, Texas. Sam’s dream of healthier, happier shoes died when federal agents started raiding his factories and homes and threatening his friends and family.

The story of when, where, how and why Sam started making these great clothes out of hemp/marijuana and how the government tried to stop him is a vibrating journey of genuine intrigue. Many examples of useful hemp products and information about hemp can be found at ushempstore.com.



Duffy in Manzanillo 1993:

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1993 Sam's oldest son Duffy spent a lot of time surfing up and down the Mexican coast with the local kids. The Mexican locals where Sam lived in Manzanillo took Duffy in because he could hold his own in the water. Surfers have a world of their own and you have to be well rounded to earn their respect. Sam loved to sit under the palapa at Santiago Beach and watch tDuffy build his balance.



Bucky Meadows:

Bucky Meadows was Sam’s next-door neighbor at Willie Nelson’s golf course in Spicewood, Texas. He was a fine musician and one of Sam’s beloved friends. Bucky took the last tour bus to heaven on June 18, 1998.

You could write a long and interesting book about Bucky’s life and the gifted people he knew and played music with. He went on the road with Les Paul and Mary Ford when he was 13 years old. He was the poster boy for Gibson Guitars and billed as a child prodigy on the guitar. Les came to Pedernales Studios to record with Willie in about 1988. Sam got to spend a couple of days listening to Bucky and Les Paul reminisces about Mary Ford and the road.

Bucky had musical spontaneity. He never did anything the same way twice but he did everything pretty all the time. So, he was a musician’s musician and a studio technicians dream. He played everything from country music to cold jazz with mind-boggling mixes of everything in-between.

Like most of the great studio musicians Bucky died broke and unrecognized for the part he played in the star-maker machinery. He was a beautiful human being and lucky to have a friend like Willie that knew him and loved him for who he was.

Bucky played with Les Paul and Mary Ford, George Jones, Hank Thompson, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Ray Benson and many more.

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Bucky is playing Sam’s old 1947 Epiphone Triumph at Sam’s place in Pedernales Country Club, Spicewood, Texas 1993. This photo was taken shortly before federal agents raided Sam’s home and studio at the golf course. This raid took place as celebrities from around the world were beginning to assemble in Austin, Texas for Willies 60th Birthday Celebration. This raid was intended to send a strong message to the entertainment community about lending their support to U.S. Hemp.

Several federal agencies participated in this high profile raid. The Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas was still smoking when we passed on our return from Farm Aid 1993. Agents held Bucky in his doorway at gunpoint for 4 hours while they searched and loaded up Sam’s things. The feds destroyed a great deal of U.S. Hemp’s music and recordings that he was working on at that time. Bucky and Sam had been working on a jazz version of a swing jazz piece called “Cherokee”.

Sam did not get busted in this raid. He had to sneak back to say goodbye to his old pal Bucky and give him a hug for the last time. Sam never saw him again and he was heart broken to hear Bucky had died.

Studio musician’s recognition comes after their gifts have survived the test of time. People with sensitive ears seek them out after their death. They will seek Bucky’s name out in the small and faded print on the obscure discs that hold his music. They will ask: Who was this person that God chose to do the Master Tracs.

Bucky Meadows earned his place in the Musicians Hall Of Fame located in U.S. Hemp’s heart. Many of the stories of the talented artists Sam has known, partied and played with will be published in "The Life Story of U.S. Hemp". Please remember to look for the fascinating stories about Bucky Meadows and the influence he had on U.S. Hemp’s music.



Ulysses Samuel Hemp gets Eight Years Hemp Activist Refuses to be Silent:

The following statement was delivered by Ulysses Samuel Hemp at his sentencing Feb. 15, 1996. After hearing these words, Federal Judge Jim Rosenbaum sentenced him to the maximum penalty of 97 months.

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I was charged and convicted of conspiring to sell a plant that grows wild in this region and once provided legal jobs for Minnesota. This plant is the oldest, safest source of food, fuel, fiber, and medicine on earth, and has infinite industrial and medical value to society.

The government used this plant as an excuse to invade my home, seize my property, take my freedom, and terrify my family. I challenge the logic of the laws that permitted this.

Under oath, the government’s witnesses lied and the prosecution knew they were lying. The government distorted, fabricated, and concealed evidence. They tailored reports, statements and testimony to fit the charge, mislead the jury, and manipulate the justice system.

My Trial took place during the verdict stage of the O. J. Simpson trial. The acquittal of Simpson created pandemonium in America. When Simpson’s verdict came down, this court announced his acquittal to the jury while my trial was in session. O. J. Simpson hysteria had no place in my trial.

Fear and ignorance guided by greed and blind ambition created the prohibition of hemp. I am morally and intellectually compelled to resist these forces. When the American people find out what hemp is and why it’s really illegal may they deal with this government as harshly as it has dealt with me.

U.S. Hemp served seven years in Federal Prisons and jails before he was released from the custody of the Justice Department in 2002.



Little Miss Mary Lynne Sunshine:
August 29, 1951 to October 21, 1997

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Mary Lynne Sunshine was the brightest star in Sam’s sky before the drug war. She followed Sam like a puppy through life. Sam led her into hell but he had no exit strategy for her or himself. The tragic lose of Sam’s sister Mary Lynne is almost too much to write about or read. But this same tragic story has been buried with the victims of this drug war in unmarked graves for too long.

Sam celebrates his sister’s life before the “Drug War” and remembers the suffering and horrifying loses this never-ending war has exacted on the planet since Vietnam.

Lieutenant Talavera at the Federal Prison in Safford, Arizona called Sam into his office the night Sam’s sister died. Talivera was a lying bully and Sam had exposed him in several Unit Disciplinary Hearings for simply being who and what he was and Talivera hated Sam. He asked if Sam had a sister. Sam smiled and said: “yes why”. Talivera smiled and said: “she’s dead”---Sam said: “will that be all Lieutenant”.

They refused to let Sam take the short trip to his sister’s burial at Top of The World, Arizona. The official reason was “safety risk to the federal escorts”. That may have been true for Talivera.

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Sam said goodbye to Little Miss Mary Lynne Sunshine from the Prison yard with his dear friend Raymond Jimmy the Navajo Medicine Man. The prison chaplain’s routine and insincere requirement to speak to Sam was laughable after listening to Jimmy Joke about the joys of life and death. But Sam still missed her, mourned her and always blamed himself for not being able to bring her back from the hell she died in. She is buried close to Sam’s old ranch house in Gold Canyon but he considered her grave at Top of the World his home after that.



Mix Master Spade 1999:

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Sam met Spade Williams at Wackenhut Federal Prison. Spade was a shot caller and had his ways of getting things done and so did Sam. Their mutual interest was music and they went on a mission to get music equipment and a facility to rehearse and train musicians. Sam and Spade badgered the warden out of a fat check to buy the professional quality instruments they needed and a gigantic musical facility with sound rooms. The warden didn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart. There was so much talent in the federal prisons that the music promoters and gangster girls were trying to buy tickets to the shows.

The music they were kicking out at Wackenhut started getting attention and the Warden loved the positive publicity. Sam had the choir smoking and they were doing outside gigs. Sam and Mix Master Spade were fusing everything together in that band room. They started doing these double rhythm tracks with 2 independent cross-over songs going simultaneously and then interchanging. The concentration it took to play two separate songs at the same time was annoying until you crossed over into this new musical groove where both songs are playing around in your mind separately but together. The feel was a totally new music high. Sam never got that groove again, partly because the bass player that he was working with at the time was a genius. Sam also worked with a young rapper named Jazzy that was an electric performer. That energy combined with an old school R& B bass player that could fold two separate bass lines spaciously into this groove was outrageous. Sam held this new music up to the Afro-Cuban musical technology in terms of complexity. What Sam and Spade were working on in that prison band room will be the complex music of the future (if there are no major social setbacks).

Sam had watched his audiences closely all his life and loved to watch people cross over the line and start to feel things. One night the Wackenhut Staff and inmates had a rap party together. Old hard-core prison guards were feeling it and the lady guards were getting loose. The neighbors actually called the county sheriff to come to the federal prison and try to break up the party. That was not gonna happen. Sam and Spade were some of the first inmates to open this new privatized federal prison and they made history working on Coast-to-Coast Gangster Rap Reconciliation. Mix Master Spade Williams was a dear friend of Sam’s and he will be missed from the cutting edge music scene. However, Spade tagged his territory forever.



Diesel Therapy 1999:

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After Sam sued the dirty warden and guards at Safford Federal Prison he was given a transfer to a low security prison camp. Sam had written up and busted so many guards that they wouldn’t shake Sam’s area down or bully people in his presence. Of course they double-crossed him. Sam thought he was going to camp when he boarded the prison bus for the Federal Prison Camp at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. Sam was suspicious because he should have been furloughed out to a camp instead of bussed by the Bureau of Prisons in shackles. Nellis Federal Prison Camp was the smuggler’s country club and Sam was ready to visit his friends.

Instead, Sam got what is known in the prison system as “Diesel Therapy” It’s kind of like being on the road with Willie Nelson, EXCEPT no girls, no weed, no guitars and your wrists and ankles are shackled, bruised and bleeding for months. Sam went on tour with the federal marshals. They hit the toughest jails and biggest cities and the crowds were unbelievable. Packed houses and a captive audience.

Diesel Therapy is designed for the litigious inmates that won’t back down. This old form of therapy is designed to break you physically and mentally and most important separate you from your paper work. The inmates with the guts to stand up to the prison powers are loaded on a bus or jet in the middle of the night and lost in the system. They are separated from their families, friends and law libraries. They keep prisoners in transit, and stashed in lost county jail holding tanks until nobody knows where they are, including them. This is the most dangerous, mentally and physically challenging position you can be in while in prison. Transit is deadly and the feds know it.

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Sam’s oldest son Duffy and his daughter Kaia were finally able to track Sam down after “The Long And Dirty Diesel Torture Tour. Sam surfaced at the (CIA) Wackenhut Corporation Private Prison located deep in the California desert.

The jail guards in Las Vegas had pulled Sam off a top bunk by his hair while he was sleeping. The fall badly broke Sam's left hand as he was kicked and beaten with batons. This was a random practice session for a local SWAT team in Nevada. Yes, they wore hoods over their brave little faces and created an excuse for revenge in the hearts of many.

Sam was not in good physical condition when he came to the Wackenhut Privatized Prison in California. The Warden had already been briefed about Sam. But this warden was from Texas. He loved Willie Nelson and he hated violence bullies and bad reports. Sam’s struggles before and during his diesel therapy and his soft landing at Wackenhut private prison offers an interesting contrast between federal operated prisons and the new corporate prisons that believe money is more important than cruelty.





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