PositiveThe Boston GlobePollan is not particularly interested in recommending that readers scale back on coffee or experiment with opium tea. Instead, he wants readers to unlearn biases about drugs to make space for new cultural conversations about these psychoactive substances ... Moving fluidly between vivid character sketches and sweeping cultural commentary, Pollan charts how this early capitalist exploitation of workers with the aid of caffeine drove the expansion of colonialism and slavery ... In describing his own experiences of researching the peyote cactus, Pollan adeptly handles issues of cultural insensitivity. He is aware that, in writing about the cactus, he risks encouraging not simply cultural appropriation but material appropriation: The fear in writing about the peyote cactus is that white Americans will be inspired to consume it, which, given its scarcity, would effectively rob it from Native Americans ... For every sober-minded discussion of such a difficult cultural issue, there are multiple passages in This Is Your Mind on Plants of sparkling charm ... Throughout the book, Pollan’s voice is breezy, witty, and approachable as he gently interweaves such historical vignettes, science, and first-person stories of experimentation with plant-based drugs ... The book has little to say, however, about the major choices for governments and individuals that might flow from a more informed view of opium, caffeine, and mescaline. At one point, Pollan notes that, given how the same drugs can be both beneficial or harmful to individuals, depending on use, \'it’s up to us to devise a healthy relationship with them.\' It’s unclear, though, exactly what Pollan means by this: Does he mean that all drugs should be legalized and we as individuals should be free to attempt to build “a healthy relationship” with any drug that we desire? Or, quite differently, do we need a reimagined health care profession, working in a new legal environment, to prescribe these drugs to us? Frustratingly, Pollan’s book leaves these questions unexplored ... Still, This Is Your Mind on Plants has much to offer its readers, whether they are curious about the plant-based adventures of others or the science of substances at work on their own minds. With historical depth, political punch, and narrative exuberance, Pollan’s book sounds a call to reimagine society’s relationship with psychoactive plants.