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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Prohibited Prayer and the Limits of Public Health Authority: The Supreme Court Reaffirms That COVID-19 Regulations Must Comply With the First Amendment Apr 14, 2021

When Christians met in each other's homes for prayer or Bible study, they had to be careful. Such gatherings were illegal, and the organizers never knew who might inform the authorities. Although that sounds like a scene from the Soviet Union, it act... Read More

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Six Marijuana Legalization Lessons: Three Recently Approved Plans Show What Politicians Have Learned (or Failed to Learn) Since Colorado Became the First State to Allow Recreational Use Apr 07, 2021

Legislators in New York and New Mexico voted last week to legalize recreational marijuana, as their counterparts in New Jersey had done the previous month. The three plans, which bring the number of states that have approved legalization to 17, refle... Read More

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The Bump Stock Ban Highlights the Danger of Letting Bureaucrats Invent Crimes: A Federal Appeals Court Rejects a Highly Implausible Redefinition of Machine Guns Mar 31, 2021

Two years ago, peaceful, law-abiding gun owners across the country became felons overnight, thanks to the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks. But as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recognized last week, Congress alone has the aut... Read More

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Biden Threatens to Revive Kangaroo Courts in College Sexual Assault Cases: The President Has Ordered the Education Department to Consider Rescinding Due Process Reforms Mar 24, 2021

In 2016, Purdue University imposed a one-year suspension on a student accused of sexual assault, forcing him to resign from ROTC and ending his plans for a Navy career. The process that led to those results, Amy Coney Barrett concluded in a 2019 opin... Read More