Was there such a thing as illegal drugs 600 years ago?

In Europe, specifically, but input on other areas is always welcome. Assuming you were fortunate enough to have a few extra hours a week not spent toiling or rolling around in muck seeking tubers missed by wild hogs, was there any general prohibition against wolfing down some psychedelic mushrooms, or ingesting some other sort of mind-altering substances apart from alcohol? Assuming your neighbors weren’t inclined to burn you for a witch, that is.

When did The Government start taking an active role in prohibiting that kind of stuff?

Apparently there were (tobacco) smoking bans in some places as early as the 1500’s.


The only reference I can find to early opprobrium of opium is from here: http://opioids.com/timeline/

The Ottoman empire would have prohibited Alcohol as far as I can tell and includes parts of Europe.

IIRC, coffee was illegal in most of Europe until late in the Renaissance era.

Couldn’t using some drugs could get you charged with witchcraft (literally, pharmocopoea)?

I can’t get your link to work, but, frankly, any source that claims that, in the 1300s, the Inquisition held that anything from the East was “linked to the Devil”, and that implies that they could have enforced such an opinion, is full of shit. I very much doubt that the Inquisition (whose heyday, anyway, did not arrive until the late 1400s), or their masters in the Church, held any such opinion, but if even if they did, they utterly failed to get the populace to pay any heed to it.

This is the era when the story of the travels of Marco Polo were enthralling Europe, and when oriental spices, silks and other goods, brought by Muslim traders along the Silk Road, commanded huge prices, leading, in the following century, to the age of exploration as European sailors desperately sought to find a sea route to the Orient in order to be able to trade with them more easily. I don’t know whether opium was amongst those trade goods, but if it was not, that certainly was not because stuff in general from the East was banned or distrusted.