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Amazon Pushes the Idea of Marijuana Federal Legalization

October 1, 2021

Recently, Amazon has announced that it is pushing the idea of marijuana legalization at the federal level to Congress. 

Why Amazon Lobbies for Marijuana Legalization?

As the company stated, there are a few reasons:

  • Amazon recognized that it becomes difficult to “implement an equitable, consistent, and national pre-employment marijuana testing program” as more and more states legalize marijuana;
  • Amazon references publicly available data showing that pre-employment marijuana testing affects people of color and bothers the employment process;
  • Refusing pre-employment cannabis testing allows Amazon to increase the number of candidates.

“Pre-employment marijuana testing has disproportionately affected communities of color by stalling job placement and, by extension, economic growth, and we believe this inequitable treatment is unacceptable,” said the company.

Dave Clark, Amazon’s consumer CEO, stated that the company would no longer disqualify people from working at Amazon for marijuana use due to “where state laws are moving across the U.S.”

Amazon also supports the following bills:

  • Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act). The bill aims to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, drop the charges and invest in impacted communities. 
  • Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. Amazon endorsed it. According to CNBC, “Amazon urged Congress to expunge federal nonviolent marijuana crimes and allow for resentencing of any person serving time in federal prison for those crimes while pushing states to take similar steps.”

What Else Should You Know About the Process?

In June 2021, Amazon announced stopping the screening process of potential employees’ marijuana use. It concerns positions that are not regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Candidates applying for jobs regulated by the DOT (ex., truck drivers, heavy equipment operators) will not avoid the screening process. 

According to Insider, Amazon has spent around $5 million on lobbying efforts from April to June.