Amazon lobbying Biden administration to make cannabis legal

The company said that a law change would make hiring staff easier

Helen Elfer
Tuesday 21 September 2021 17:10 BST
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Amazon is pushing for cannabis to be federally legalized, the online commerce giant has announced.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the company said:

“Given our previous support for legalizing cannabis at the federal level, as well as expunging certain criminal records and investing in impacted businesses and communities, Amazon recently announced our support for, and began actively lobbying on, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act).”

The company said that part of the reason for its lobbying effort was to make hiring easier, reports Business Insider.

“We’ve found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool,” Amazon senior VP of human resources Beth Galetti said.

Amazon initially announced its support for federal cannabis legalization in June, when its Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark said the company would no longer screen potential employees for cannabis use.

“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” Mr Clark said at the time. “However, given where state laws are moving across the US, we’ve changed course.”

The majority of Amazon’s vast workforce – 950,000 employees in the US and 1.3 million people around the world – is made up of warehouse employees. This group of staffers have a notoriously high turnover rate of around 150%, according to a New York Times report, leading to some Amazon executives worrying the company could run out of hirable Americans.

Business Insider reported that Amazon has already spent at least $5 million on lobbying efforts.

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