Amazon has said it will further relax its marijuana policy for employees and is gearing up to support national legislation to legalise the drug. Citing its decision from June 2021, the American e-commerce giant said it has “reinstated the employment eligibility” for former employees and applicants terminated or deferred during random or pre-employment marijuana screenings. It said screening job applicants for cannabis makes it hard for the company to expand its workforce. Amazon said it wants to help reform America’s cannabis policy as it wants to “become Earth’s Best Employer”.
Stating the first reason, Galetti said that an increasing number of US states were moving to “some level of cannabis legalisation.” Second, available data indicated that pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacted people of colour. And third, Amazon was “always looking to hire” new employees and eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis, and in the process, allowing the company to expand the applicant pool.
“Today’s status quo is unfair and untenable,” added Galetti, noting the difficulty for companies in creating cannabis rules given the discrepancy between national law and local statutes. “We look forward to working with Congress and other supporters to secure necessary reform of the nation’s cannabis laws.”
Out of the total 50 US states, 19 have so far legalised recreational use of marijuana. Connecticut was the last state to do so in June this year. The same month, Amazon announced that it would drop testing applicants for some job profiles for the drug. The only candidates it decided to screen were those applying for positions regulated by the Department of Transportation, such as truck drivers and heavy equipment operators. It then began actively supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act).
Aiming to “become Earth’s Best Employer”, Galetti wrote that “we know that our local communities and future generations need us to be better every day” to achieve that feat.