Are there any countries in Golarion where drugs are legal?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


Just wondering.

Silver Crusade

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Given that Golarion is largely pseudo-Europea-ish, a better question is where drugs are explicitly illegal? Prohibition of narcotics prior to XIX century existed mostly in Islamic law and some Far Eastern countries, so I'm inclined to think that Golarion would be mostly "substance friendly" with some exceptions in places like Cheliax or Rahadoum.


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On the other hand, the Inner Sea is a very modern region, at the very least.
I'd expect places like Andoran to have some laws regarding that. Maybe Ustalav and some others too.
Other countries would probably regulate drugs rather than banning them. Allowing them, within a set of rules - that's where I'd expect Cheliax to be.
Then you have the places where the laws regarding drugs will exist mostly to protect the status of the state as the main dealer, like probably Razmiran.

But ... Yeah.
Probably not a lot of regulation overall.
Feels like it's still much too early for international trafficking, as the continents seem to interact very little. There shouldn't have been too many huge epidemics yet - since no country in Avistan is a huge producer. And we have no Opium Wars equivalent that I know of in Golarion's history.
Now, both Avistan and TianXia are in the process of getting over their major upheavals from last century, so it could come up relatively soon - I could absolutely see Cheliax pulling the opium trick once they get their minds back on colonization.

Edit : there's also more simply the need for countries to define what is dangerous drug that should be banned, what is a potentially dangerous medicine that should be regulated, and what is new and therefore great and totally fine.
It's not that long ago that things like cocaine and heroine - or radioactive stuff - were totally legitimate, relatively easy to obtain "medicine". Or just laudanum. Not to get into even more modern issues with other opioids.


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One country (Katapesh) even has a large part of their economy dedicated to the production and export of drugs (pesh, among others).


Gorbacz wrote:
Given that Golarion is largely pseudo-Europea-ish, a better question is where drugs are explicitly illegal? Prohibition of narcotics prior to XIX century existed mostly in Islamic law and some Far Eastern countries, so I'm inclined to think that Golarion would be mostly "substance friendly" with some exceptions in places like Cheliax or Rahadoum.

I understand with Cheliax, but why Rahadoum? (I'm guessing since drugs are associated with religion in a lot of places).


They seem to be illegal almost anywhere except Katapesh.

Smugglers and thieves guilds are mentioned in numerous source-books and adventures and one of the things they commonly smuggle and sell is drugs.

Only slightly off topic, does Riddleport make any sense at all? The city is run by factions that specialize in specific crimes including smuggling and selling drugs. But since the place is run by criminal gangs why is this stuff illegal there in the first place?


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Jeven wrote:


Only slightly off topic, does Riddleport make any sense at all? The city is run by factions that specialize in specific crimes including smuggling and selling drugs. But since the place is run by criminal gangs why is this stuff illegal there in the first place?

So people have to go through them to get them; if they weren't restricted, anybody could sell them. Also, I expect that they also specialise in transporting and distributing them in places where they are illegal.


Yqatuba wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Given that Golarion is largely pseudo-Europea-ish, a better question is where drugs are explicitly illegal? Prohibition of narcotics prior to XIX century existed mostly in Islamic law and some Far Eastern countries, so I'm inclined to think that Golarion would be mostly "substance friendly" with some exceptions in places like Cheliax or Rahadoum.
I understand with Cheliax, but why Rahadoum? (I'm guessing since drugs are associated with religion in a lot of places).

Since you mention Rahadoum:

{. . .}

Some citizens use narcotics, typically imported from Katapesh, but even here self-discipline is expected – drug use is no excuse for sloppy behaviour. {. . .}

I haven't heard anything about this for Cheliax, but they might have a similar policy . . . or they might make it illegal, but very selectively enforced. (And even being against the legalization of such things myself, I have to acknowledge up front that the latter possibility seems awfully familiar . . . .)


Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
So people have to go through them to get them; if they weren't restricted, anybody could sell them. Also, I expect that they also specialise in transporting and distributing them in places where they are illegal.

That makes sense -- the gangs have a monopoly on certain crimes and its illegal for third parties to infringe on their turf.

I was having a hard time wrapping my head around a city like Riddleport run by criminals because that begs the question of "what is a crime in a place like this?" But picturing it as a mafia-style enforcement of a crime monopoly works -- it's illegal for everyone but our gang!


It's not canon, but in my game, beer in Cheliax isn't illegal, just usually of pretty bad quality thanks to Caiden Caylen's influence. Take that, devil lovers!

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