Amazon Will Stop Marijuana Drug Testing, and Readers Discuss Why


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On June 1, Amazon announced that employees in the United States would no longer be screened for marijuana during drug tests; the company has 10,500-plus employees in Colorado, the first state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana.  And not only will Amazon stop testing for pot — essentially treating cannabis like alcohol (sound familiar?) — but the company announced that it’s supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act to legalize the plant at the federal level.

“We hope that other employers will join us and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” says Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon management group Worldwide Consumer.

Readers certainly responded swiftly in their comments on the Westword Facebook page post regarding the Amazon move. Asks Michael: 

Really Amazon? You want your workers stoned out of their minds while driving forklifts and pallets around? You sure about that?

Responds Karen:

How many Amazon workers drive forklifts during their time off? This post is about OFF HOURS, not WORK HOURS. Nobody has an issue if people drink till they black out on their day off — but no one wants a drunk person on the clock. How is weed any different? Just because someone gets high on their day off it doesn’t mean they are high when they are at their job. Why should ANY employer care what their employees do on their time off? When you are not on the clock, that is your own personal time, and your employer should not dictate what you can or can not do with that time that is yours, not theirs.

Suggests Eric:

Amazon wants it legalized nationally so they can sell and deliver it.

Adds Tyler:

They can’t find workers. Simple as that. This has nothing to do with the company’s moral stance.

Comments Christy:

I have to say, I am very against pot. I hate the crap. However, to each their own. If they aren’t doing it before, during or while, who cares? Why are we judging them while they are off the clock?

Notes Violeta:

Marijuana needs to be taken off the list of drugs companies can test for. If you have a company in a legal state, it’s against the rights of those citizens who voted for legalization to be tested for a product that contributes billions in tax revenue. Especially companies like Amazon and Walmart, which are subsidized by the government, and whose workers are dependent on state-funded social programs like WIC and child-care subsidies, because they don’t pay enough to keep up the with cost of living in hyper-inflated states.

Concludes Adam:

What happens off the clock is none of the employer’s business as long as job jerformance isn’t affected. Weed is not alcohol. You don’t get hangovers because it’s medicine and benefits you and doesn’t make you feel like a bag of assholes; you can go to work feeling sober and not hungover. If you argue against this you are the problem. Weed should have never been illegal in the first place.

What do you think of Amazon’s announcement? Drug tests in general? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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