Amazon backs marijuana legalization, drops weed testing for some jobs

Zeedox

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Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Tuesday it supports a proposed U.S. legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level, and would drop weed-testing requirements for some recruitments.

The e-commerce company's public policy team will be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), which seeks to legalize marijuana at the federal level, its consumer boss Dave Clark said in a blog post.

Amazon will also no longer screen its job applicants for marijuana use for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, Clark added.

While many U.S. states have legalized marijuana use, employers have so far largely refused to work with the industry as cannabis is still a classified substance at the federal level.
 

Gomez Adams

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This part:

While many U.S. states have legalized marijuana use, employers have so far largely refused to work with the industry as cannabis is still a classified substance at the federal level.​
Is wishful thinking. It has nothing to do with that. It's insurance and liability. They open themselves up to huge lawsuits and risk not being able to be insured if they allow marijuana use.

Until the laws regulating insurance are rewritten, it will never be accepted at the workplace with the exception of dispensaries and maybe bars/restaurants.
 

Zeedox

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Ah, but further along it reads:
"In the past, like many employers, we've disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use," Clark said. "However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we've changed course."

Amazon was hit with a proposed class action suit, which claimed that the company was violating a New York City law by testing applicants for jobs at local facilities for marijuana, according to a Westlaw report.
 

Gomez Adams

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Ah, but further along it reads:
That has nothing to do with insurance.

It works like this: You own a warehouse. A worker on a forklift hits a shelf and knocks it over seriously injuring two other employees. It then comes to light the forklift driver tests positive for marijuana. The level doesn't matter.

The insurance company can refuse to pay out because the forklift operator was impaired. That leaves the company left holding the bag not only on workers comp claims, but the sure to follow lawsuits for being grossly negligent in allowing a impaired person to operate a forklift.

It's a losing proposition for any company to allow it. It's only a matter of time before several of those type scenarios play out and the movement to legalize runs headlong into the most powerful lobby in the United States: insurance.
 

Hugo Stiglitz

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It works like this: You own a warehouse. A worker on a forklift hits a shelf and knocks it over seriously injuring two other employees. It then comes to light the forklift driver tests positive for marijuana. The level doesn't matter.
That may be now but it's not the future. They're going to wind up treating it like alcohol or prescription drugs. They're going to have to come up with a test and a test level that's going to determine one way or the other if somebody is fucked up or not. Alcohol has always been pretty much a non-starter unless you're pretty fucked up. In your example if the guy blew a .02 because he had a beer at lunch it's not going to fucking matter.

That's what's going to make marijuana mainstream. Getting that level set. Sure it's a ball of wax right now that anybody can argue anything on but I can't help but think its not going to be long before states start putting hard test limits in place so they know one way or the other if somebody is fucked up or not.
 

Zeedox

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That has nothing to do with insurance.

It works like this: You own a warehouse. A worker on a forklift hits a shelf and knocks it over seriously injuring two other employees. It then comes to light the forklift driver tests positive for marijuana. The level doesn't matter.

The insurance company can refuse to pay out because the forklift operator was impaired. That leaves the company left holding the bag not only on workers comp claims, but the sure to follow lawsuits for being grossly negligent in allowing a impaired person to operate a forklift.

It's a losing proposition for any company to allow it. It's only a matter of time before several of those type scenarios play out and the movement to legalize runs headlong into the most powerful lobby in the United States: insurance.

You've made this point before and yet there goes Amazon doing exactly that...

And surprisingly there are insurance companies still insuring companies up here...
 

Gomez Adams

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Up there is not down here. Workers have no rights here. And you're reading what you want to see in Amazon's notice, not what reality is.

This part:
Amazon will also no longer screen its job applicants for marijuana use for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation
Is a non-starter because the teamsters union and department of transportation handles it. That applies to truckers who have to get CDL licenses and delivery drivers and many of the truckers are all teamsters who regulate drug testing themselves. If they ever test positive in an accident they're going to prison anyway and it's not going to be Amazon's liability, so Amazon doesn't care.

Then you have this cryptic part:
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Tuesday it supports a proposed U.S. legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level, and would drop weed-testing requirements for some recruitments.

That's a very PR way of saying the same thing twice. Amazon supports legalization at the federal level because that would remove from them any liability of policing it.

And the "some recruitments" are those same DOT regulated jobs that they don't bother with anyway.

Also, getting hit with a "PROPOSED" class action lawsuit is nothing. It means someone suggested to them that they might try to get one. It actually never happened because they don't have a leg to stand on.

Let me know if it ever actually happens.

They're going to wind up treating it like alcohol or prescription drugs. They're going to have to come up with a test and a test level that's going to determine one way or the other if somebody is fucked up or not. Alcohol has always been pretty much a non-starter unless you're pretty fucked up.
Correct.

But the here and now of it all is that there is no law, there is no test and there are no protocols. That leaves ALL of the decisions up to the company itself. In the United States if you don't have a union with a collective bargaining agreement that enables you to smoke marijuana and test positive for it at work (and you don't, because it doesn't exist in the U.S. yet) then you can be fired for using it just as quickly as you can for drinking on the job or being impaired on prescription medications.

At this moment in time, in the United States, workers have no right at all to use marijuana if the company they work for prohibits it. None.