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Cannabis, Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire

Cannabis, Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire

  1. Expat98
    This is a transcript of a lecture given at the University of California at Berkeley by Michael Pollan, the author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, among other books.

    The lecture covers a wide area of ground, touching on topics such as the co-evolutionary relationship between humans and psychoactive plants, the effects of psychoactive plants on human culture, and the War on Drugs.

    The main focus of the lecture is on cannabis. Pollan discusses the history of the plant and how it has influenced culture. He then moves on to what we have learned about the brain through studying cannabis. Particularly, he discusses endogenous cannabinoids and the role they play in forgetting, noting that the ability to forget is a mental operation that is almost as important as the ability to remember.

    Pollan then raises some interesting ideas about the importance that cannabis and other psychoactive plants may have played in philosophy and religion. He then concludes with some comments about the War on Drugs.

    This transcript also includes a panel discussion and audience comments.

    Note that the video of the lecture is also in the DF archive here (http://www.drugs-forum.co.uk/forum/local_links.php?linkid=5004&catid=121).

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