Amazon expands on support for federal marijuana reform, workplace equity

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E-commerce giant Amazon has stepped up its efforts to support federal marijuana reform and provide a more equitable workplace in terms of MJ policy.

In a blog post Tuesday, the company’s human resource chief noted two recent developments:

  • Amazon’s endorsement of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act proposed by U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
  • The company’s reinstatement of employment eligibility for former employees or applicants who were terminated or not considered because of random or preemployment marijuana screenings.

The developments follow a June announcement that Amazon was actively lobbying for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, the U.S. House version of MJ reform, and excluding cannabis from preemployment drug screening for most positions.

In Tuesday’s blog, Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of human resources, wrote of three reasons for the changes:

  • It’s difficult to implement an equitable national marijuana testing program when an increasing number of states are legalizing.
  • National data indicates preemployment marijuana screening disproportionately affects people of color.
  • Eliminating preemployment testing enables the company to expand its applicant pool.

Galetti wrote that having equitable hiring practices for all candidates is a social responsibility and furthers Amazon’s goal to be a leader and one of the world’s top employers.

“We are enthused by the notable momentum in the country toward recognizing that today’s status quo is unfair and untenable,” Galetti concluded.

“We look forward to working with Congress and other supporters to secure necessary reform of the nation’s cannabis laws.”