Amazon is lobbying the US government to legalise marijuana, the company has confirmed.
The internet giant will also be supporting the introduction of laws to remove the criminal records of those convicted of weed-related offences.
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In a post on their blog yesterday, the Amazon Human Resources department also announced it will be removing cannabis from its company-wide pre-employment drug testing and reinstating the eligibility of any job candidates or employees that have tested positive previously.
The company is the US’s third-biggest employer said the “disproportionate impact on people of colour” of marijuana testing, the variation between state laws on the drug meaning difficulty in implementing a consistent national pre-employment process and the desire to expand the applicant pool, as their reasons behind the change.
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“Historically, criminal marijuana provisions have been unequally enforced upon people of colour, perpetuating a vicious cycle of over-incarceration, poverty, health conditions, and other barriers to employment and economic opportunity,” the company said.
Bloomberg News reported that applications to work at the company had increased four-fold since the change came into place.
Amazon will also be actively lobbying the US government in support of two bills, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 — that would see the decriminalisation of the drug and the “reimbursement of persons impacted by the war on drugs.”
Due to its “similar aims,” the company have said — it will also be supporting the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which would result in the national legalisation of weed in the US.
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In a letter to senators, Amazon’s Vice President of Public Policy wrote: “We believe Congress should act to expunge federal non-violent marijuana crimes and allow for resentencing of any individual currently in federal prison for such a crime while taking steps to encourage states to do the same.”
“For far too long, criminal marijuana provisions have been unequally enforced upon people of colour snd as the nation’s second-largest employer, we support expungement to ensure that all capable individuals have a fair opportunity to seek and secure employment wherever they choose.”
Megan Townsend is Mixmag’s Deputy Digital Editor, follow her on Twitter