Author Archive | Jacob Sullum

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Sessions’ Wishy-Washy Marijuana Comments Reflect the Ambiguity of Current Policy

C-SPANDuring his confirmation hearing yesterday, Jeff Sessions did not do much to clarify how he will treat state-licensed marijuana businesses as attorney general, but that is not entirely his fault. Marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, and the Justice Department cannot simply announce that it will no longer enforce that ban in states […]

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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Minnesota’s Indefinite Detention of Sex Offenders

Tom Evanstad / Google MapsYesterday a federal appeals court upheld a Minnesota program that indefinitely detains sex offenders after they have completed their prison sentences under the guise of treating them for mental illnesses invented by the state legislature. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit overturned a 2015 decision in which U.S. […]

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Incarceration and Crime Rates Continue to Fall in Tandem

Incarceration and Crime Rates Continue to Fall in Tandem

The total number of people in American prisons and jails, which peaked in 2008, fell last year by more than 2 percent after rising slightly in 2014, according to numbers released yesterday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The 2015 total, 2,173,800, is the lowest since 2004, reflecting a gradual reversal of the incarceration explosion […]

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Teenagers Dismay Prohibitionists by Consuming Less Cannabis

Teenagers Dismay Prohibitionists by Consuming Less Cannabis

The latest survey data indicate that legalization has not driven a national surge in adolescent pot smoking. Jacob Sullum|Dec. 14, 2016 7:00 am At a Senate hearing last April, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, worried about the message that marijuana legalization sends to the youth of America. “I can’t tell you how […]

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Why the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act Would Chill Constitutionally Protected Speech

Why the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act Would Chill Constitutionally Protected Speech

Last week the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016, a.k.a. S. 10, was introduced in the Senate, read three times, and approved by unanimous consent without debate or amendment—all on one day. That sort of bipartisan consensus, which suggests a bill is so obviously unobjectionable that no discussion is necessary, usually means trouble, and this case […]

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Trump’s Homeland Security Pick Shares His Simpleminded Faith in Drug Interdiction

Trump’s Homeland Security Pick Shares His Simpleminded Faith in Drug Interdiction

Senate Armed Services CommitteeLike Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, the man he wants to run the Department of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, is an old-fashioned drug warrior who is alarmed by the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition. But the secretary of homeland security, unlike the attorney general, does not have much […]

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Philippine President Says Trump Supports His Murderous Antidrug Campaign

Philippine President Says Trump Supports His Murderous Antidrug Campaign

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte claims Donald Trump endorsed his bloody war on drugs, which has killed thousands of people since Duterte took office last summer, in a telephone conversation on Saturday. Duterte’s account of the call has not been confirmed by Trump’s transition team, but it is both plausible and alarming. “He was quite sensitive…to […]

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Clinton Blames FBI Director for Her Loss

Clinton Blames FBI Director for Her Loss

The defeated Democrat still thinks the email issue was bogus, even though she also thinks it cost her the election. Jacob Sullum|Nov. 14, 2016 6:30 am C-SPANAfter several days of soul-searching, Hillary Clinton has arrived at a hard-to-accept conclusion about why she lost the election: It was all James Comey’s fault. In a conference call […]

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