Amazon waives cannabis tests

Because Amazon run out of drivers in the U.S., the online retailer is now apparently calling on its delivery companies to specifically look for stoners. This would significantly increase the number of potential applicants. However, some of the delivery companies themselves are skeptical about the idea for liability reasons.

As Bloomberg reports, citing viewed correspondence between Amazon and four delivery companies, the retail giant is advising them to prominently advertise that they do not screen applicants for marijuana use. It said this could increase the number of applicants by up to 400 percent. Drug testing, on the other hand, reduced the number of potential employees by up to 30 percent, Amazon said in a statement.

Speaking to Bloomberg, the head of a delivery company stated that marijuana was actually the main reason most people failed drug tests. Now that they only test for drugs like opiates and amphetamines, more drivers pass the test.

That’s my problem, not Amazon’s

Other delivery companies continue to review applicants, concerned about the impact on insurance and liability in those U.S. states where marijuana use remains illegal. They fear, according to the report, that eliminating drug testing “may encourage some drivers to pull a joint before driving.” “If one of my drivers crashes and kills someone and tests positive for marijuana, that’s my problem, not Amazon’s,” Bloomberg quoted one driver, who wished to remain anonymous.

Amazon is for cannabis legalization

Amazon, which is lobbying the U.S. government to legalize cannabis, had announced in June that it would no longer screen job applicants for the drug. A spokeswoman told Bloomberg that the tests had “disproportionately affected populations of color” and stunted job growth. “Stoned” employees are still prohibited from working, however: “If a delivery employee is impaired at work and tests positive after an accident or based on reasonable suspicion, that person may no longer work for Amazon,” the spokeswoman stressed.

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