Amazon is intensifying its pro-weed campaign. It announced Tuesday that it is actively lobbying to pass legislative reforms aimed towards decriminalization.
Amazons senior vice-president of human resources Beth Galetti stated in a blog post that the company supports two pieces of legislation that would decriminalize cannabis nationwide. This comes amid increasing legalization at state levels, with 36 states permitting some degree of public access to marijuana, and 18 states, plus Washington DC, legalizing recreational use.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act) was introduced by Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and remove it from the federal government's list of controlled substances. This bill seeks to create investment programs for communities who have been adversely affected by cannabis-related policing and incarceration. It also seeks to erase relevant criminal records. The bill was previously introduced and passed the House last year in a historic vote before ultimately stalling in the then Republican-controlled Senate. Nadler introduced the bill again in May with some modifications.
Amazon also supports the Cannabis Administration Act and Opportunity Act, a bill that prominent Democrats such as Senators. Ron Wyden and Cory Booker. Similar legislation would legalize and regulate marijuana. It would also provide funds for state governments to expunge criminal records related cannabis-related convictions.
Amazon, which employs 950,000 Americans, stated that it supports the proposed bills.
We are excited by the national momentum to recognize that the status quo is unjust and unacceptable. Galetti wrote that we look forward to working together with Congress and other supporters in order to reform the nation's cannabis laws.
Amazons position on cannabis use within its ranks started to shift at least three months ago. Reports surfaced in June that Amazon was removing pre-employment testing for cannabis use for certain positions. This is excepted from positions regulated by the Department of Transportation. It also encouraged contract delivery companies to let the public know that they would not screen for marijuana.
This is a great turn for Amazon, which has been a horrible employer in many ways. It is worth noting, however, that everyone from Elon Musk to the ex-governor New York knows that being okay with marijuana is a surefire way of making yourself look cool and engendering goodwill. Most people also know that prohibitions are regressive bullshit.
We reached out to Amazon to get their opinion on the recent endorsement of the legislation. We also asked Amazon if they plan to invest in cannabis-related ventures in the future. If they reply, we will update the story.