United States: Amazon supports the Republican plan to legalize cannabis

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Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, supports a Republican-led bill to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis at the federal level.

The company’s public policy division said Tuesday it was “happy to support” Republican Rep. Nancy Mace’s bill, which filed the States Reform Act in November as an alternative to the legalization projects championed by the Democrats.

“Like many others in this country, we believe it is time to reform national cannabis policy and Amazon is committed to helping this effort,” said the company, which has previously expressed support for a separate legalization bill, led by Democrats.

Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, said the bill offers “comprehensive reform that demonstrates the emergence of a bipartisan consensus to end federal cannabis prohibition.” »

Last year, Amazon decided to stop testing most of its workers for cannabis and erase the “records” of former workers who were disciplined for testing positive, allowing them to be rehired.

The reason for the abandonment of cannabis drug testing is multiple, Amazon said at the time. The growing state-level legalization movement has made it “difficult to implement a fair, consistent, nationwide pre-employment cannabis testing program,” with data showing that drug testing “has a disproportionate impact on people of color and are a barrier to employment”. Removing this requirement also broadened the company’s pool of candidates.

Amazon and its bipartisan support

The Republican legalization bill would end the federal ban on cannabis while taking specific steps to ensure businesses can continue to operate unhindered by changing federal rules. It also incorporates certain fairness provisions such as expunging the criminal records of people with non-violent cannabis-related convictions and imposing an excise tax, the revenue from which would support community reinvestment, law enforcement and the activities of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Amazon also supports the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a project carried by the Democrats. Although they hold a majority in both chambers, in addition to controlling the White House, the margins for adoption are slim.

The MORE Act was approved in September by the House Judiciary Committee last September. Senate leaders are preparing to file a separate legalization proposal after unveiling a draft version in July.

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