(TheRedWire.com) – Legalizing marijuana is a long-sought-after policy by liberals. Despite the drug’s legalization in many states, selling and using the popular drug is still a federal crime. As of September 23, 18 states and Washington, DC, allow recreational marijuana. As a result, an entire industry grew out of the legalization movement.
However, there are consequences for those who get caught using the drug. If convicted or tested positive for pot, it could prevent one from joining the military, a government agency, or employment with any federal contractor or business that falls under federal regulations.
On Tuesday, September 21, Amazon announced the behemoth company was halting marijuana drug screening for prospective employees not regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Additionally, the company also stated it would begin lobbying the federal government and politicians to legalize cannabis. The reason was simple – it’s an economic issue.
Amazon Explains Why It’s Lobbying the Government
At the heart of the issue for Amazon is employment. The massive company needs more people to work for it, but many people are exempt from a career with one of the world’s biggest companies due to federal regulations.
Amazon says the federal ban on cannabis stalls job placement for minorities, and in turn, negatively affects the economy. They say it’s an “inequitable treatment,” and company leaders say the situation isn’t fair for potential employees, the business, or the economy.
Amazon also announced its support for two bills recently introduced in Congress. The company is putting resources behind lobbying for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 and the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.
By lowering its own guard where possible and lobbying Congress to change cannabis laws, Amazon believes more people will be eligible for work. The company could simplify the hiring process.
In July, Amazon spent $5 million on cannabis lobbying efforts just in the second quarter of 2021.
What’s in the Federal Cannabis Proposals?
If passed into federal law, the two proposals would remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I drug list. The list comprises five levels. Schedule V drugs are determined to be the least likely to be abused. Schedule I is the most abused and is not accepted for medical use.
The two bills introduced in Congress serve entirely different purposes. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) is endorsed by 155 organizations. It seeks to remove cannabis from the Schedule I drug list, address the impact of marijuana criminalization, reinvest in communities that were hit hard by prohibition, and ensure employment opportunities are free from cannabis discrimination. The House passed the MORE Act in December 2020, but the Senate tabled the act pending elections.
The House also passed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act in December and reintroduced the bill in June. The proposal seeks to remove penalties, expunge marijuana federal criminal records, and allow states to determine how to legalize the popular recreational drug.
Neither bill tops Congress’s action list at this point.
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