E-commerce giant Amazon
Amazon's increasingly friendly stance towards weed stems from the company's ongoing labor problem, chiefly, the astronomically high turnover rate of warehouse workers--150% according to a report run by the New York Times. Of course, the high turnover rate is the result of the immensely stressful working conditions of Amazon's colossal distribution warehouses, a facet only exacerbated by the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
With its high turnover rate and the notorious nature of warehouse working conditions, Amazon is finding an increasing shortage of workers. The unsustainable rate through which the company has been going through workers has been so profound that executives have begun to fear running out of workers entirely.
The company's removal of cannabis from its pre-employment drug testing requirements can be seen as an early signal of the direction that Amazon wants to head. With the federal prohibition on weed fully removed, the company could institute nationwide standards--as some states still require cannabis testing, despite Amazon's own directives--and possibly entice new workers.
In lobbying for federal legalization, the company noted its support for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, as well as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. Amazon expressed that prohibition and drug testing unequally affected people of color in its earlier voicing of support.
"Publicly available national data indicates that pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacts people of color and acts as a barrier to employment," the company said in its Tuesday announcement. "Pre-employment marijuana testing has disproportionately affected communities of color by stalling job placement and, by extension, economic growth, and we believe this inequitable treatment is unacceptable."