Vox Conversations

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing, Jamil Smith, and their colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.



Why we love drugs

Vox's Sean Illing talks with author Michael Pollan about his new book This Is Your Mind on Plants, why some societies condemn drugs that other societies condone, what will happen as the war on drugs draws to a close, and whether or not taking psychedelic drugs can improve humankind.

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Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox

Guest: Michael Pollan (@michaelpollan), author


  • This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (Penguin; 2021)
  • How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (Penguin; 2018)
  • The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem by Andrew T. Weil (HMH; 2004)
  • "Opium, Made Easy" by Michael Pollan (Harper's; Apr. 1997)
  • "The intoxicating garden: Michael Pollan on growing psychoactive plants" by Michael Pollan (Financial Times; July 9)

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This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Editor: Amy Drozdowska
  • Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey
  • VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson

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 2021-07-19  1h3m