A friend of mine that literally never reads books picked up Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana and could not stop talking about it for a while. It goes into the use of marijuana in cultures across the world and throughout history, and goes in depth about why it was made illegal in the states.
If you're into the "spiritual" aspect of seeing patterns in the universe... I had a really good time in college with the Power of Myth.
Horrors of addiction? Junky by William S. Burroughs.
It's Alexander Shulgin's bible. Shulgin is often called the Godfather of Ecstasy, for helping popularize MDMA again. He also synthesized a great number of new psychoactive drugs, among these the popular 2c-x series of psychedelics. 2c-b is probably on of his most well-known creations.
As far as I recall, the book contains synthesis instructions for a number of drugs, along with trip reports of each compound that he bioassayed. I think there's also something of a diary in there.
TiHKAL is also interesting - it concerns tryptamines instead of phenethylamines.
If you want a book that focuses more on the harm of drugs and drug policy, I suggest something by David Nutt. He was sacked by the British government because his scientific discoveries about how harmless most illegal drugs really are in moderation didn't fall into line with established ideology.
Pic related. He starts the book off by trying to find a philosophical framework with which we can understand the psychedelic experience. He then goes through the history of psychedelia in great detail and shows how it is connected to a plethora of different cultures. Well researched and a very interesting read.
>in b4 'hurr durr you're saying that because of the movie' I actually originally read the book then watched the movie for comaprison, although I will admit this is one of the few instances where I liked the movie better
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