About Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason, a monthly magazine that covers politics and culture from a libertarian perspective. During two decades in journalism he has relentlessly skewered authoritarians of the left and the right, making the case for shrinking the realm of politics and expanding the realm of individual choice.

In addition to Reason, Sullum's work has appeared in National Review, Cigar Aficionado, Seed, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, including The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, Paula Zahn Now, The Charlie Rose Show, and NPR.

Sullum is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Penguin) and For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press).
Saying Yes has been praised in both National Review, which called it “a highly effective debunking,” and Mother Jones, which described it as “a healthy dose of sober talk in a debate dominated by yelping dopes.” For Your Own Good, Amazon’s No. 1 public policy best-seller in 1998, also was widely praised by reviewers, who called it “compelling” (The Wall Street Journal), “meticulously logical” (The New York Times), and a “cogent and thorough ... must-read” (The Washington Post).

Sullum, a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, has received the Keystone Press Award for investigative reporting and First Prize in the Felix Morley Memorial Journalism Competition. In 1998, his article on pain treatment for Reason was a National Magazine Award finalist in the Public Interest category. In 2004, he received the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, and in 2005, he received the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism.

Sullum first joined Reason in 1989, as an assistant editor, later serving as associate editor and managing editor. He also has worked as the articles editor of National Review and as a reporter for the News and Courier/Evening Post in Charleston, S.C., and The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Sullum is a graduate of Cornell University, where he was an editor and columnist at The Cornell Daily Sun and majored in economics and psychology. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he currently lives in Texas with his wife, two daughters, three cats, and one dog.

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The Alarming Epidemic of Misguided Meddling With E-Cigarettes: Banning the Flavors Former Smokers Overwhelmingly Prefer Is a Strange Way to Protect Public Health Sep 18, 2019

Banning flavored e-cigarettes is all the rage among politicians these days. It's an alarming trend that poses a clear and present danger to public health. The epidemic of misguided meddling began earlier this month, when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitme... Read More

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Don't Hate Me Because I Bag My Own Groceries: According to a Proposed Oregon Ballot Initiative, I Am Contributing to Unemployment, Social Isolation and Adolescent Alcoholism Sep 11, 2019

When I buy groceries, I almost always use the self-checkout line. I confess that I did not contemplate the broader social and economic implications of my choice until Tom Chamberlain enlightened me. Chamberlain, who is the Oregon president of the Ame... Read More

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YouTube Is Not the Government: Conservatives Who Argue the Video Platform Is Constrained by the First Amendment Are Forsaking Their Constitutional Principles Sep 04, 2019

Dennis Prager may or may not have a legitimate beef with YouTube, which he says has been restricting access to videos produced by his nonprofit organization, Prager University, because of its conservative perspective. But one thing is clear: YouTube ... Read More

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The False Premises of the Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson: Blaming Opioid Makers for 'Opioid Crisis' May Be Emotionally Satisfying, but Reality Is More Complicated Aug 28, 2019

This week, an Oklahoma judge ruled that Johnson & Johnson should pay $572 million to "abate" a "public nuisance" the company created in that state by minimizing the hazards and overselling the benefits of prescription opioids. A few months ago, a Nor... Read More