Duncan Trussell is an American actor, voice actor, and stand-up comic, known for his podcasts The Duncan Trussell Family Hour and his appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and Joe Rogan Questions Everything. Very few people have learned to stream their consciousness the way Duncan has. He’s a real gem.
Jackee Stang invited Duncan Trussell onto Delic Radio to talk about changing the stigma surrounding cannabis and psychedelics, using these substances as medicines, and taking responsibility for being a part of the revolution that is happening now.
Meet Duncan at Meet Delic
At Meet Delic this August 8 & 9, Duncan Trussell will host a special live taping of his popular podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, which has been downloaded over 25 million times.
RS + Duncan Trussell Interview
Duncan Trussell: They make up stories about brave people who are doing the Lord’s work in the face of one of the most monolithic, evil, and arcane forms of fascism ever.
Jackee Stang: The failed war on drugs, you mean?
DT: This is one of the craziest things that is happening. We accept that a group of people between the ages of 40 and 70 is telling us what we can put in our bodies. I’ve been taking psychedelics since I was 15, and I’m 43 now, so that’s a huge portion of my life. I have gone through various periods of ignoring the fact that these things that enhance my ability to love and connect with people, fill me with creative inspiration, and help me commune with the divine is illegal. Sometimes, I get fucking incensed that it’s something that we are not allowed to do.
JS: In recent years, the toughest lesson I learned was just how nobody cares about the truth. I spent a lot of energy pissed off about that and seeking the truth in just normal interpersonal situations, especially in corporate America, but nobody cares. They don’t necessarily want to know the truth.
DT: Well, that’s not our problem. When I was growing up, we didn’t know what marijuana was doing to us, and we didn’t have the internet.
DT: I was in North Carolina. I was born in Georgia, grew up in Hendersonville. One of the things that people would say was, “This actually is destroying brain cells.” The experiences we were having were beautiful. There was a feeling that there was a spiritual potency to these drugs, cannabis, in particular, LSD, and mushrooms. But, we didn’t have access to the data that we have now because there was a prohibition on researching the substances.
JS: There still is.
DT: Back in the day, you had to go off of rumors and whispers that this stuff was bad for you. If somebody wanted to call you a stoner as a derogatory term, you couldn’t really argue with them because we were dealing with a lot of government propaganda telling us that this stuff destroyed our minds and lives. And maybe they were right. Maybe they were concerned about us because marijuana was in the same cabinet as heroin and the opiates.
JS: It was scheduled the same.
DT: Yes. Now, if somebody comes at me with, “Look at you, you fucking stoner, druggie!” It’s like wait a minute. Number one, you have no idea how I’m deciding to take these medicines. Number two, if you looked at the data coming back regarding the benefits of these medicines, then you would realize that what I’m doing is a form of self-improvement. I’m listening to myself and following that path even though decades of government propaganda has filled us with a ridiculous, superstitious, and embarrassing paranoia. That’s not to say that there aren’t dangers.
JS: Tons, and I think it’s changing. There are parents in Texas now interested in this “cannabis thing.” “What is CBD? Can that help me?” The Baby Boomers are getting interested, and the industry is interested in them because it’s a large crop of people to sell cannabis products to.
DT: Slowly but surely, it’s going to change with the explicit intention of trying to get these medicines into the bloodstreams of people who need it in a variety of different ways.
JS: That would be excellent.
DT: What we’re also dealing with is, what I would call, the divine. I think that the dimension that we’re in is constantly revealing the mind of God. As part of that revelation, we are getting to see the gradual diminishment of prohibitions that are keeping us from using tools that allow us to commune with that mind in different ways. As matter and time continue to unfold, what we’re witnessing is an actual transcendent force that is manifesting in the form of the lifting of the prohibition on psychedelics and drugs.
JS: What’s important too is to recognize the dangers of I guess dosing, which is the first thing that comes to mind, especially around cannabis. There are many ways to consume cannabis right now. I hope there is somebody around you who can educate you, or you’re motivated to educate yourself.
DT: It all goes back to the autonomous individual caring for themselves and determining their own life course. If you’re going to put something in your body, know what it is, and understand a little bit, at least, about where it comes from and what it’s doing. Do your fucking due diligence. It’s not the state’s job, my job, or anyone else’s job. That’s your job. We want you to have a great time.
I want people to experience what Alex Grey calls a “theophany,” the communion with the divine. Anytime a person through meditation, through the good fortune of running into someone who’s been working on themselves for a long time, or through psychedelics makes contact with the transcendent. That’s not just an incredible moment in that person’s life, but it’s something that also is going to begin to transform the people around them.
When the universe reaches out and touches someone’s heart, the ripples spread into their community. So it does us all good if people are having positive psychedelic experiences. That being said, it’s up to the individual to determine. People have different body chemistries.
JS: It’s hard to put in work.
DT: You have to put in work.
JS: It’s like school.
DS: Always starts small and work your way up. That’s what I do anyway. Some people plunge right in, whatever!
JS: That’s ballsy.
DT: Be honest with yourself about what’s happening to you. Is it something that you’re using in a way that’s helping you or is it telling you to lay off? Cannabis will tell you to fuck off if you’re abusing it. That will happen. If you feel like you need to take a break, take a break. Give yourself some time to breathe, decompress, and assimilate the knowledge you got.
JS: That’s healthy. I think the end goal, at least for me, is to be sober. I don’t want to be high all the time, I use it to learn things. When I was younger, I used it for the fun, of course, to escape. I think most people like the concept that these are medicines.
DT: A lot of people haven’t been fortunate enough to make contact with communities that embrace them for who they are, and are open-minded enough to understand that psychoactive substances can truly heal. A person who’s felt unhappy, ostracized, and rejected their whole life, what could be better than a moment of ecstasy, so that they realize that it’s not just a world where you get bullied. It’s not just a world where you get punished. That’s, I suppose, one of the great medicines.
JS: Back to what I said earlier about people not caring about the truth, I think there’s the fear of using substances like this to transcend or become a better person. Then, maybe they don’t want that. What would they do without the pain? What would they do without the bullying? They’re used to their life, even if it is negative, and they’re afraid of what’s beyond that. It’s so alien to them. I don’t know how you get through that.
DT: As you start waking up because of psychoactive chemicals, meditation, Bhagavad Gita, Terence McKenna, or you simply made contact with something outside of the dim circle that is illuminated by the satanic lantern of popular culture, you realize, “there’s another light out there.” Once you walk into that light, you can start healing.
We are taught to fetishize the government. “I’m not going to watch the State of the Union.” So many Tweets, and then so many Tweets, “Oh, the State of the Union was a failure,” “Oh, so many Tweets about the State of the Fucking Union,” and ”Oh, and the horror, and the horror, and the horror.” Meanwhile, these people have not done their own State of the Union, which is to examine their selves and if their State of the Union is one of fragmentation, brokenness, and terror.
This goes back to personal responsibility. There are so many things you can do, that will make your practice, your spiritual practice of taking marijuana or psychedelics beneficial to you and your community. There are so many things you can do that will not make it beneficial, and will result in you committing what I would consider being a real sin, which is to uphold the stereotypes that we’re trying to overcome right now. Know that if you’re taking a drug right now that the federal government has made illegal, and you’re taking it for the right reasons, you’re a micro part of a revolution that’s happening. Make sure that you’re safe, and that the people around you are safe. That way, we can show the world that these substances should be embraced instead of rejected.
JS: I have conversations every day with people in the industry. I tell them, “Yes, it is our responsibility if we want to alter the stigma outside of our bubble.”
DT: Be responsible, be autonomous, and be a revolutionary because that’s what you are, whether you like it or not, you’re part of a movement that’s happening.