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Legalise it! Amazon backs marijuana legalisation; drops drug testing for some jobs

In a blog post on Tuesday, Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon's global credit and logistics business, said the company will scale back its monitoring of employees' "time-off task", which is a measure of ascertaining worker productivity

The Amazon logo is seen outside its JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020. (Photo: Reuters) The Amazon logo is seen outside its JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

Amazon has thrown its weight behind a proposed US legislation to legalise cannabis at the federal level. Additionally, the e-commerce giant has announced that it would drop weed-testing requirements for some recruitments.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon's global credit and logistics business, said the company will scale back its monitoring of employees' "time-off task", which is a measure of ascertaining worker productivity.

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"Starting today, we're now averaging Time off Task over a longer period to ensure that there's more signal and less noise-reinforcing the original intent of the program," Clark said.

He added that Amazon will actively support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, reintroduced in the US parliament last month.

The bill seeks to legalise cannabis at the federal level. Clark further stated in the blog post that instead of using "time-off" task to measure worker productivity, the company will use the metric to track system failures.

Amazon will also no longer screen its job applicants for marijuana use for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, Clark added.

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While many US states have legalised marijuana use, employers have so far largely refused to work with the industry as cannabis is still a classified substance at the federal level.

"In the past, like many employers, we've disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use," Clark said. "However, given where state laws are moving across the US, we've changed course," he noted in the blog post.

Amazon was hit with a proposed class-action suit, which claimed the company was violating a New York City law by testing applicants for jobs at local facilities for marijuana, according to a Westlaw report.

The company does not allow marijuana sales on its platform.

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