Amazon is dropping tests for marijuana – will corporate America follow? – WRAL Tech Wire

Amazon certainly isn’t the first major corporation to arrive at the cannabis reform party, but it sure made one of the biggest entrances to-date when it publicly pledged to relax its drug testing policies and also to back federal legalization efforts.

And now it’s a question of how many others will follow — especially during a time when some firms are desperate for workers.

Amazon kicked off June with an announcement that it would stop testing for cannabis metabolites as part of its drug screening program for positions not regulated by the US Department of Transportation. The company also said it would back the federal Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a recently reintroduced bill aimed at descheduling marijuana and reassessing some past cannabis-related convictions.

It’s not yet clear to what extent Amazon will fund cannabis reform efforts on the federal level as well as to what any future business endeavors in the space may be. Amazon spokespeople did not comment beyond the company’s June 1 statement and declined to respond to questions posed by CNN Business.

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To have have one of the world’s largest employers take this stance — and in such a public manner — could prove immensely influential, said Andy Challenger, a senior vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“When a major company like this makes announcements that are paradigm-shifting, it definitely paves the way and makes it easier for other organizations to do that,” Challenger said.

Pendulum swing

State laws and public opinion have grown more cannabis-friendly in recent years. More than two-thirds of US states have medical cannabis laws in place; of those, 18 have given the go-ahead to recreational cannabis programs (not including South Dakota, where

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