Warehouse giant Amazon has publicly announced support for a bill that would legalise cannabis across the United States.
On Wednesday, Amazon’s global Consumer Division head Dave Clark published a blog post declaring that Amazon is “actively supporting” The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act).
New York Democrat Jerry Nadler first introduced the MORE act in 2019. If passed, the bill would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, expunge the convictions of people who committed nonviolent cannabis offences, and impose a 5% cannabis tax to reinvest money made from cannabis. The bill would also make it possible for cannabis-based businesses in the US to get bank accounts (something that is currently illegal in many areas). Vice President Kamala Harris has strongly supported the MORE act.
In Amazon’s blog post, Clark wrote that the company hopes others will support the MORE bill.
We hope that other employees will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law.
Amazon will also be relaxing its strict drug use laws for cannabis. The company will continue to do “impairment checks” on employees but will not require employees to pass a drug test for cannabis (provided they don’t work in a job regulated by the Department of Transportation). In essence, Amazon will allow their non-driving employees to use cannabis, as long as they don’t do it at work.
Over a third of Americans currently live in a state with legal cannabis – of which there are now 17. Thirty-four states have also legalised medical cannabis in some capacity. Research suggests that 68% of Americans support cannabis legalisation, which is expected to become a US$100 billion industry by 2030.
The House of Representatives passed the MORE act last year. It now needs to pass in the Senate to become law. As Amazon is a global institution, its support for the bill is very, very powerful. While cannabis is a controversial topic, Amazon’s support may just push it over the edge, as big companies have a unique power to sway politicians.
This will be interesting, to say the least.