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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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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