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 Attorney General Is Determined to Undermine Your Privacy: The Encryption Limits the Justice Department Demands in the Name of Security Would Make Us All Less Secure Oct 16, 2019

The Justice Department claims to support "strong encryption, which is used by billions of people every day for services such as banking, commerce, and communications." Yet the department is actively working to weaken encryption, lest fully secure com... Read More

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Muddled Message About Vaping Causes Costly Confusion: Vague Lung Disease Warnings Tar Harm-Reducing E-Cigarettes While Obscuring the Role of Black-Market Cannabis Products Oct 09, 2019

When there's an outbreak of food poisoning, the federal government does not issue general advisories about the hazards of eating. It tells people which products have been implicated so they can adjust their behavior to reduce the risks they face. Yet... Read More

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Everyone Dares Call It Treason: Both the President and His Critics Casually Deploy the Once Incendiary Charge to Discredit Their Opponents Oct 02, 2019

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who is notionally challenging Donald Trump for the Republican Party's 2020 presidential nomination, last week claimed Trump is guilty of "treason, pure and simple." He added that "the penalty for treason under ... Read More

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A License for Outrageous Police Conduct: Qualified Immunity Protects Cops From Liability for Actions That Would Land Ordinary People in Jail Sep 25, 2019

When a police officer illegally arrests a photographer for taking pictures, can the officer be sued for violating the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures"? Yes, a federal appeals court ruled last week. When police officers s... Read More