8 juni 2021

Amazon Gives the Green Light to Marijuana

Online retail giant Amazon nixes drug tests for marijuana and announces support for cannabis policy reform.

Online retail powerhouse Amazon announced on Tuesday that it would support efforts to legalize marijuana at the federal level and would no longer test applicants for most U.S. jobs for cannabis use. The policy changes were announced in a blog post from Amazon CEO Dave Clark that was published by the company on June 1.

In the statement, Clark wrote that company policies were being amended to further the company’s “vision to become Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work,” a goal announced by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in April. Clark noted that the company has often rejected otherwise qualified job applicants based solely on a positive drug screening for marijuana use. Under the new policy, such screenings will end for most employment positions in the U.S.

“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use. However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course,” Clark wrote. “We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use.”

Clark also announced that Amazon would now actively support federal cannabis legalization, including lobbying for legislation that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week by New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat and chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

“And because we know that this issue is bigger than Amazon, our public policy team will be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act)—federal legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and invest in impacted communities,” Clark continued. “We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law.”

Ben Kovler, the founder and CEO of multistate cannabis operator Green Thumb Industries, expressed his support for Amazon’s move.

“Change is coming to America. Amazon is a leader and we applaud their progressive common sense approach to cannabis,” Kovler wrote on Twitter.

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Written by
A.J. Herrington