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This is Your Mind on Plants (2021) [ebook+audiobook]

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Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?

While he does briefly discuss their pharmacology and toxicology, the book is really about the relation between each plant and the humans who consume it, tackled in a non-judgmental and objective way that seeks to dispel the ignorance, prejudice and demonization they attract.