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Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers

Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers - Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, Christian Rätsch Not quite a textbook, not quite a narrative. It is more like a collection of short essays about different healing and hallucinogenic plants around the world, and how indiginous peoples have incorporated these magical plants into their traditions and worldviews. Amazingly, there are vanishingly few examples of cultures which have been completely devoid of any sort of mind-altering plant. To the chagrin of the "Reefer Madness" producers, all of these cultures have thrived even with widespread hallucinogenic use. The reason is that cultures devise traditions and rituals to define when and how these drugs should be used. Usually it is a meeting of adults, at night, at only certain specified times. It begs the question: maybe we are completely mishandling the hallucinogenic-type drugs available to our society. Instead of a ridiculous "zero tolerance" policy, maybe we should legalize everything, but develop our own traditions and rituals to give the experience meaning and significance. Our modern world is unique through the ages in involving the legal system so extensively with drug use. I guess that's what you get when you have a for-profit prison system.I'm not sure about the accuracy of the publication date Goodreads gives... they sometimes give later printing dates rather than first printing. They say first printing was 2001, but I'm pretty sure I read this in 1999... (no hallucinogenic plants were involved!)