Why Amazon Is Lobbying the Federal Government to Legalize Marijuana
Amazon announced in June of 2021 that it supports the legalization of marijuana in states where recreational and/or medicinal use is still prohibited. Antecedently, the company’s drug screening program led to both existing employees being terminated and new applicants being turned away for the use of cannabis products. Going forward, Amazon says they have removed marijuana from their drug screening program altogether, except in cases where positions are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) such as with delivery drivers. Employees who were terminated as well as applicants who were deferred have regained eligibility and can now reapply for employment with Amazon.
These changes come during a time where the number of marijuana users is increasing throughout the country as more states legalize and decriminalize cannabis for medical use as well as recreational. For Amazon, it means relaxing an otherwise cumbersome testing program that lacks consistency across the nation and unnecessarily bars numerous people from applying for gainful employment with the e-commerce conglomerate. Amazon also noted that the program narrowed their applicant pool and given the current worker shortages across the United States, this makes sense, as businesses everywhere are attempting to make changes to attract new talent
Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act) intends to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance and decriminalize its use on a federal level. Amazon has pledged its support for the MORE Act as well as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act and is lobbying the federal government for the change. The bill will also work towards supporting communities that have been victims of disproportionate negative impact as a result of cannabis use in the form of excess policing and incarceration.
How Will Amazon Benefit by Lobbying for Legalization?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the nation has seen an ever-tightening labor market which has had a detrimental effect on numerous businesses. By removing the requirement for cannabis pre-screening and intermittent testing, Amazon will be able to open its doors to a broader range of applicants and former employees who were terminated for cannabis use in the past. But there’s a greater benefit than that – Amazon is aware that their previous policy regarding cannabis use placed undue pressure on specific communities of color and impeded both job placement and economic growth in these communities. According to Beth Galetti, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, “we believe this inequitable treatment is unacceptable.”
Amazon’s goal is to become Earth’s Best Employer and they seem to understand that changes must be made in order to pursue and achieve that status. This means considering measures that were taken in the past and adapting their policies to reflect changes across various countries, including, predominately, the United States. But, as the federal government has yet to remove cannabis as a controlled substance, Amazon has joined the movement for nationwide legalization of nature’s organic remedy.
Medical Alternatives clinic conducts medical marijuana evaluations and can help you access the products you need to manage your health. One of the major reasons to get a medical marijuana card is to access these products in states where recreational use is prohibited. Contact us for more information about medical marijuana evaluations and get your card now.