NORML's Issues Statement Regarding Amazon's New Workplace Drug Testing Rules, Support for Legalization – Norml

Following yesterday’s public announcement by Amazon.com that the company will cease testing most employees for off-the-job marijuana use and will also lobby on behalf of pending federal legislation (The MORE Act) to repeal cannabis criminalization, NORML issued the following statement from Deputy Director Paul Armentano:

“This decision reflects today’s changing cultural landscape. Suspicionless marijuana testing in the workplace, such as pre-employment drug screening, is not now, nor has it ever been, an evidence-based policy. Rather, this discriminatory practice is a holdover from the zeitgeist of the 1980s ‘war on drugs.’ But times have changed; attitudes have changed, and in many places, the marijuana laws have changed. It is time for workplace policies to adapt to this new reality and to cease punishing employees for activities they engage in during their off-hours that pose no workplace safety threat. Several states, like Nevada and New York, have moved in this direction — as have numerous cities, like Atlanta and Philadelphia — and it is no surprise to see major employers moving in this same, common-sense direction.”

He added: “Public support for HR 3716: The MORE Act is growing day by day. Seven-in-ten US voters say that the adult use of cannabis ought to be legal. It is time for Congress to repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana and to allow states the freedom to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies consistent with the wishes of the majority of their voters and free from the threat of undue federal interference.”

ON BACKGROUND (WORKPLACE DRUG TESTING)—

Amazon is not alone in its decision to cease drug testing for cannabis. Drug screening in the workplace has declined in popularity in recent decades. In the late 1990s, an estimated 80 percent of larger employers drug tested. Today, fewer than 50 percent do so. (Los Angeles Times, “In the age of legal marijuana, many

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