In a career spanning 30 years, Reason Senior Editor Jacob Sullum has been one of the most insistent voices in favor of “pharmacological freedom,” the right of individuals to use whatever substances they want to control, modulate, and change their mind, emotions, and moods. In the latest issue of Reason, Sullum reviews Michael Pollan’s popular new book on psychedelic drugs and boldly asks the question, “Who Controls Your Cortex?” The answer, he says, is the individual.
In a wide-ranging and personal conversation, I talk with Sullum about the immense changes in drug policy over the past quarter-century, why the marijuana legalization movement has succeeded, and what the future holds for less-popular and more-potent substances such as MDMA (ecstasy) and psilocybin as they gain various forms of government approval as “legitimate” medicines. We talk frankly about our own experiences and how, as parents, we talk about legal and illegal drug use with our children. Sullum is the author of 1998’s For Your Own Good, a history of the anti-smoking movement, and 2004’s Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use.
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