Amazon will no longer drug test employees for marijuana and supports the passage of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021, the company said in a statement this week.
"We're adjusting our drug testing policy," said Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's worldwide consumer business. "In the past, like many employers, we've disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use. However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we've changed course. We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use. We will continue to do impairment checks on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident."
In addition, Amazon expressed public support for the passage of the MORE Act, which would legalize marijuana at the federal level while also expunging criminal records and investing in communities most impacted by marijuana prohibition.
"We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law," Clark said.
Cannabis industry associations applauded Amazon's decision to eliminate drug testing for marijuana and the company's support for the MORE Act.
"As the United States' second-largest private employer, Amazon committing to no longer test those of its 1.3 million employees not regulated by DOT for marijuana - and publicly supporting the MORE Act - is a huge step forward in eliminating one of the main ways the drug war has robbed so many of their livelihoods," said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "Drug testing has never provided an accurate indication of a person's ability to perform their job, and yet this incredibly invasive practice has locked out millions of people who use drugs - both licit and illicit - from the workplace.
"We urge other employers to take note and follow suit, ending this counterproductive practice once and for all," Frederique added. "And we urge the House to swiftly pass the MORE Act absent of harmful provision that was added to exclude federal workers of drug testing protections, so we can roll up our sleeves and get on with the work of passing marijuana justice in the Senate as well."
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) also commended Amazon for its support of the MORE Act and its decision to eliminate marijuana testing.
"The decision by Amazon to update their drug testing policy to omit marijuana will have a huge impact," said Matthew Schweich, deputy director at MPP. "Disqualifying potential employees for cannabis use is both outdated and bad for business. Adults should not be punished for responsibly using cannabis outside of the workplace.
"Amazon's support for the MORE Act is yet another sign that the American people - and the American business community - back federal cannabis reform that begins to rectify the harms of cannabis prohibition by prioritizing social justice and social equity," Schweich added.