Dutch Host To Take Heroin On TV

A group of teenagers, the age group whom the drug use and issues to be covered on the Shoot Up & Swallow show is targeting, dance at a late-night club in Amsterdam in March, 2005.
AP
A television presenter on a new Dutch talk show plans to take heroin and other illegal drugs on air in a program intended to reach young audiences on topics that touch their lives, producers said Wednesday.

The show, scheduled to premier on late-night television Oct. 10, is called "Spuiten & Slikken," or the "Shoot Up and Swallow" show.

Even in the liberal Netherlands, where marijuana is sold and used openly, the proposed action by presenter Filemon Wesselink is illegal, and the idea was met with dismay by the governing center-right Christian Democrat party.

"This is dangerous and it sets a bad example," party spokesman Pieter Heerma said. "We're going to ask the justice minister for his view on what the law says about this, and his view on the dangers and risks involved."

Justice Ministry spokesman Ivo Hommes said it was not immediately clear whether Wesselink could be prosecuted. Possession of any amount of heroin is illegal, but in practice police usually do not have resources to chase after people with less than a half a gram of the highly addictive narcotic.

"The actual taking of drugs is a health problem, not a criminal act, though it's obviously hard to take drugs without possessing them first," Hommes said. "In any case it's not something we endorse, and doing it on television is undesirable."

The Shoot Up & Swallow show's main hostess will interview guests about drug use and abuse, while Wesselink and another presenter will carry out in-the-field experiments with sex and drugs.

Wesselink, 26, plans to smoke a heroin pill, said Ingrid Timmer, a spokeswoman for the show's producer BNN.