Amazon has announced its support for the recently introduced Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act in the US while it continues to lobby the government for federal legalisation. 

The tech giant also supports the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvest and Expungement (MORE) Act 2021, which is yet to be passed by the Senate.

The new act was introduced in September by Senators Cory Booker, Ron Wyden and Chuck Schumer to legalise and regulate cannabis at a federal level. 

Amazon, the second biggest private employer in the US, has already pledged to end workplace drug testing for cannabis and urged delivery partners not to test drivers for cannabis.

In a letter to the senators behind the act, Amazon vice president (public policy) Brian Huseman said: “We believe the time has come for reform of the nation’s cannabis policy and we are committed to helping lead the effort.

“The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act makes a number of important changes that we support. First, we support removing cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act. Doing so will open significant new economic opportunities for millions of capable individuals while beginning to restore some of the damage done to highly affected communities.”

Amazon also supports Congress expunging federal, non-violent, cannabis crimes and allowing for the re-sentencing of any individual currently in federal prison for such crimes. 

The company has headquarters in Washington State, one of the first states along with Colorado to legalise recreational cannabis use in 2012, and is building a second headquarters in Virginia, which under state legislature decriminalised cannabis in 2020. 

Amazon’s stance on cannabis now also covers people who were previously dismissed as it has restored employment eligibility for workers or applicants who were fired or rejected due to a positive cannabis screening.

The move does not include truck drivers or similar roles and the company has not promised to rehire or compensate fired workers for lost earnings. 

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Hannah Adler

Hannah is a communications professional and early-career researcher in the disciplines of health communication and health sociology. She is a PhD student at Griffith University currently writing a...

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