Believe it or not, there is hope for you yet. The “you” we are talking about here are those of you who like to make marijuana smoking a daily habit but are afraid you might get popped on a drug screen. In an effort to combat the mass shortage of delivery drivers, Amazon is taking their hiring to a new “high” by telling its Amazon packages delivery partners to advertise that they do not screen applicants for marijuana use.
Amazon has laid claim, though where they came up with this figure is unknown, that by opening their application process to the lovers of cannabis, they will increase the number of job applicants by roughly 400%. Seriously. Amazon also stated that by screening for marijuana, they cut their job applicants by 30%. Again, they don’t explain how they reached that figure.
“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” said Amazon retail executive Dave Clark via SHRM.org. “However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course. We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use.”
One Amazon package delivery partner claims pot was the main reason people failed their drug test. Now that they are only testing for drugs like opiates and amphetamines, more people pass and can deliver Amazon packages.
Right now, Amazon appears to be alone in the hiring of tokers. Other delivery companies plan on continuing to screen possible Amazon package delivery applicants as their concern revolves around insurance and liability issues in the number of states where marijuana use is still illegal. Another concern is the worry that if they end pot screening that some drivers may feel the urge to light one up before going out on their routes.
“If one of my drivers crashes and kills someone and tests positive for marijuana, that’s my problem, not Amazon’s,” said a delivery company owner. They requested anonymity since Amazon frowns upon delivery company owners from speaking to the media.
In an effort to boost its standing with potential Amazon package delivery drivers, Amazon is supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. MORE, if passed, would legalize cannabis at the federal level.
“We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” Clark said.
While pot use continues to be illegal at the federal level, 36 states have already legalized marijuana for medical use while 16 of those states have passed laws saying tokers can light up recreationally. In Mississippi, the law has been halted in court for medical use while in South Dakota, the courts have stopped a recreational use law.
While Amazon looks to be lessening their pot stance for potential Amazon packages delivery drivers, they still plan on being vigilant with the drug, nevertheless. Amazon has made it clear to those who will deliver Amazon packages that they will continue to monitor for on-the-job impairment. They will also conduct post-incident drug and alcohol testing.
“If a delivery associate is impaired at work and tests positive post-accident or due to reasonable suspicion, that person would no longer be permitted to perform services for Amazon,” said an Amazon spokeswoman through SupplyChainBrain.
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