A Story About Drug Tolerance

And why I love the Netherlands: halfway a 24 hour long interview, a famous dutch comedian and a philosopher decide to take psilocybin containing truffles.

Trip Truffles

Note: Shrooms are not legally sold at smart shops in the Netherlands anymore, trip truffles (which also contain psilocybin) are allowed to be sold however.

I wanted to share with you this story about drug tolerance.

So there’s this program on dutch television which is on already for quite some years called “24 hours with…” which recently changed hosts to a comedian called Theo Maassen. I was actually just watching this because he’s one of my favorite comedians, whose philosophy he detailed in his last few shows seemed to make a lot of sense.

What I didn’t expect however, was he and a respected philosopher would both take psychedelic truffles for the purpose of conversation.

Basically, the concept of the program is the host and the guest stay in the same room while they get video taped for 24 hours, after which they edit the 24 hours to an hour-long interview.

This week, the person being interviewed was René Gude, a philosopher who has been diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and has lost a leg to cancer.

So they’re about halfway in the interview when the host suddenly presents the guest with 2 options: or they go make dinner, or they take “trip truffles“. Truffles, containing psilocybin. He figures, why not and they continue.

They sometimes lost track of their thoughts, but generally didn’t misbehave during the interview. In fact, they were able to continue the interview which remained interesting, with the occasionally outburst into laughter. The next day, the philosopher admits it occasionally got trippy and he actually had visuals too.

What surprised me most about this was it wasn’t a random program, but a well-respected, long running program on dutch television viewed by many people.

Maybe our marijuana policy is flawed (and yes, we’re working on it), but I doubt public television in other countries would tolerate this.

After the program aired, there was no outcry in the media and even on social media nobody seemed to really be upset.

For those that can speak dutch, you can watch the full interview at uitzending gemist.

Those who can’t, you can watch the (English) TEDx talk Rene gave on December 7th, 2012 called “Human Kindness”:


According to René Gude, Director of the International School of Philosophy at Leusden, we humans are what we pretend to be, so we have to be very shrewd about what we pretend. Philosophy is the art of improving the way we deal with the facts of life, and designing them in accordance with humankind — kindly, so to speak.

For more about these truffles, I recommend watching the Vice documentary “The Rise of psychedelic truffles in Amsterdam“.

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