Amazon drops cannabis tests for some employees

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Amazon.com Inc. has announced that some of its new employees will no longer be banned from hiring for testing positive for cannabis on HR drug tests.

In addition, the company has announced measures to support the full legalization of cannabis at the federal level. According to the company’s blog post, cannabis is treated the same way as alcohol in states where drug laws have changed. Additionally, cannabis will no longer be included in Amazon’s drug screening program for entities that are not regulated by the Department of Transportation (DoT).

Regarding its alcohol policy, the company said it will continue to do “impairment tests”, including for cannabis, and test for all drugs and alcohol after each incident.

Although Amazon doesn’t currently sell cannabis products on its online platform, the company has stated that it will actively support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, which aims to legalize cannabis at the federal level, as well as clearing criminal records and driving investments in Municipalities.

According to CNN News, it is not yet clear how much Amazon will fund federal cannabis reform efforts and whether it intends to fund future business efforts related to cannabis products.

“Having one of the largest employers in the world taking this stance – and doing it so publicly – could prove tremendously influential,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of the Challenger law firm, Gray & Christmas, in his interview with CNN News.

“When a big company like this makes paradigm-shifting announcements, it definitely paves the way and makes it easier for other organizations to do so,” said Challenger.

Currently, over two-thirds of the US states have medical cannabis laws in place; of these, 18 have given the green light to recreational cannabis programs (excluding South Dakota, where a voter-approved measure is currently the subject of litigation). In addition, the latest Gallup poll found that American support for cannabis legalization is at an all-time high – 68% of those polled were in favor.