In June 2021, Amazon announced it would exclude marijuana from its comprehensive pre-employment drug screening program for unregulated positions (e.g., positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation). It also reinstated the employment eligibility for former employees and applicants who were previously terminated or deferred during random or pre-employment marijuana screenings.
On September 21, 2021, Amazon announced it would be supporting the legalization of cannabis at the federal level.
Amazon’s press release stated:
We made these changes for a few reasons. First, we recognized that an increasing number of states are moving to some level of cannabis legalization—making it difficult to implement an equitable, consistent, and national pre-employment marijuana testing program. Second, publicly available national data indicates that pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacts people of color and acts as a barrier to employment. And third, Amazon’s pace of growth means that we are always looking to hire great new team members, and we’ve found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool.
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). We are also pleased to endorse the recently introduced Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act; read our comments on that legislation.