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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Don't Let the Pandemic Kill Religious Freedom: COVID-19 Control Measures Violate the First Amendment When They Arbitrarily Favor Secular Conduct Jul 01, 2020

About a month after Bill de Blasio personally led a police raid on a Hasidic rabbi's funeral in Brooklyn, which he portrayed as an intolerable threat in the era of COVID-19, New York's mayor visited the same borough to address a tightly packed crowd ... Read More

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Breonna Taylor and the Moral Bankruptcy of Drug Prohibition: She Would Still Be Alive If Politicians Did Not Insist on Using Violence to Enforce Their Pharmacological Prejudices Jun 24, 2020

Last Friday, three months after Louisville, Kentucky, police officers gunned down a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse named Breonna Taylor during a fruitless drug raid, acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder initiated the termination of Detective Bret... Read More

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Racially Skewed Policing Is Not a Statistical Mirage: One Need Not Believe Every Cop Is a Bigot to Recognize That the Problem Goes Beyond a Few 'Bad Apples' Jun 17, 2020

Many conservatives condemn the excessive force that killed George Floyd but reject the notion that such abuses reflect a broader problem of racial bias. "I don't think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist," says Attorney General Wil... Read More

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Maybe Cops Should Be 'Pulling Back': Abolishing Qualified Immunity Is a Crucial Step in Holding Police Accountable for Violating Our Rights Jun 10, 2020

Attorney General William Barr worries that making it easier to sue cops for abusing their powers "would result certainly in police pulling back." White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany calls the idea a "nonstarter." Americans who have watched ... Read More