Retail giant Amazon is planning to accelerate its efforts to get marijuana legalized nationwide. The company announced Tuesday that it is now actively lobbying for reforms aimed at decriminalizing marijuana. It also reiterated its stance that it would not be screening applicants who smoke weed.
Amazon's senior vice president of human resources, Beth Galetti, said that the company fully supports pro-weed legislation, including two that are aimed at legalizing cannabis.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, which was already introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, aims to remove marijuana from the government's list of controlled substances. The second law Amazon is supporting is the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which aims to legalize and regulate marijuana in the United States. The bill also has a provision for the allocation of funds for the expungement of criminal records related to the use of the drug.
Amazon said it supports the two proposed laws for several reasons. The company said that making cannabis illegal and requiring pre-employment testing for cannabis "disproportionately impacts" certain demographics. It added that legalizing the drug would also allow it to hire from a larger pool of people, which is in line with its commitment to hire the best employees it can.
Galetti said that the company is pleased with the momentum towards the eventual legalization of the drug.
"We are enthused by the notable momentum in the country toward recognizing that today's status quo is unfair and untenable. We look forward to working with Congress and other supporters to secure necessary reform of the nation's cannabis laws," Galetti said.
In June, Amazon had scrapped pre-employment testing for cannabis for most positions. The company only screened for cannabis use for positions regulated by the Department of Transportation, including drivers and heavy equipment operators. The company also encouraged its contractors to scrap pre-employment cannabis screenings.
The company's move to lobby for the legalization of the drug comes as more states implement laws that allow its use. As of today, 36 states allow some level of public use, while 18 states have legalized cannabis for recreational use for people above 18 years old.