"Of the many manuals in its field, Jonathan Ott's is by far the best for the layman- comprehensive in scope, judicious ill its warnings, packed with information. Discussion of public policy is sensible. Every legislator and judge, Federal and state, would do well to read Ott on Drugs."
- R. Gordon Wasson
"Hallucinogenic Plants of North America will surely take its place as a book-and there are far too few of them-destined never to be outdated simply because it is built of the stuff that thinking man of any period of time needs if he is to be understanding of the past, sympathetic of the present, and inquisitive of the future."
- Richard Evans Schultes
In many cultures around the world, hallucinogenic plants have long played vital roles in every aspect of living and dying. As a result of their extraordinary effects, they are held to be organisms inhabited by
supernatural forces and, consequently, are sacred, sometimes even deified. During the past century, these narcotics have attracted the attention of artistic, literary, and scientific thought in western cultures. In the last three or four decades especially, growing numbers of people in nearly all sectors of our society have experimented with some of the hallucinogens.
occasionally, this experimentation has apparently assumed almost epidemic
proportions, and our society has become heatedly divided by the recent flirtation
with these drug plants from exotic cultures or with active chemical substances derived from them. There seems to be little or no middle ground in the arguments that swirl around the use of
hallucinogens in our midst. Into such an environment this book is born. It comes as a fresh breath and with an understanding look at the historical development of
hallucinogens in human affairs. Basically an anthology , it employs exquisitely .chosen quotations from a wide spectrum of literature-both ancient and modern-and, often in truly poetic fashion, weaves around the selections the author's searching, sympathetic, meaningful, and, on occasion, even challenging interpretations: It rightly could be described as an
anthological commentary on the hallucinogenic scene in human history . The work of a very young man of great promise, Hallucinogenic Plants of North America will surely take its place as a book-and there are far too few of them-destined never to be outdated simply because it is built of the stuff that thinking man of any period of time needs if he is to be understanding of the past, sympathetic of the present, and inquisitive of the future.
Richard Evans Schultes Professor of Biology Director and Curator of Economic Botany Botanical Museum of Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts
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