Depressing Lede of The Day, Marijuana Arrest Edition

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=121570756">Matthew Benoit</a>/Shutterstock

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A reminder, via Tuesday’s New York Times:

Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data.

The racial disparity in pot-related arrests in America is no secret. Previous studies and analysis in various states have yielded similar numbers.

The Times story also features a graphic that highlights a few places in the country—including Iowa, Minnesota, and Washington, DC—where black Americans were even more disproportionately likely to be arrested for pot possession. During President Obama’s first three years in office, the arrest rate for pot possession was roughly 5 percent higher than the average rate under his predecessor. It’s a boost in the arrest rate for a crime that the president himself once frequently committed.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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