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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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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