Amazon, one of the nation’s largest employers, announced it has loosened its policy on marijuana use and will support federal legislation that would legalize the plant throughout the U.S.
Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon‘s worldwide consumer division, cited the growing number of states that allow marijuana use in a blog post explaining the e-commerce giant’s policy change Tuesday.
“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,” Mr. Clark wrote.
Amazon will continue to conduct on-the-job impairment tests and will keep its policy of screening workers for all drugs, including marijuana, following any incident, Mr. Clark added.
Marijuana is prohibited under federal law, although most states have passed legislation that permits its use for medicinal reasons, recreational purposes or both.
Amazon has been sued in federal court on behalf of former employees who say they were wrongly fired after testing positive for marijuana despite working in states where it was legal.
Mr. Clark said Amazon’s public policy team will be “actively supporting” the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, or MORE Act, which would legalize pot at the federal level.
“We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” Mr. Clark wrote about Amazon’s support for the MORE Act.
Amazon employed about 1.3 million people in the U.S. as of 2020. Most positions its policy change applies to are warehouse and delivery station roles, Amazon told The Washington Times.
Truck and delivery van drivers still will be screened for marijuana use, Amazon told The Times, as will employees who work in Amazon Air facilities in the U.S. where its air cargo division operates.