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Amazon Reinstates Eligibility for Those Who Failed Drug Screen for Marijuana


In a reversal of a previous policy, Amazon, which is the second-largest employer in the United States, announced this week it will allow people who failed the company’s drug screen for marijuana to re-apply for jobs with the company.

In addition to reopening the door for jobs to those who tested positive for marijuana, the company is no longer including marijuana tests in its pre-employment screenings except for federally regulated positions. Amazon also reaffirmed its support for proposed federal legislation to repeal marijuana prohibition.

Following the announcement, marijuana lobbying group National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) noted that the decision was welcome as a sign that other employers might also allow those who have used marijuana recreationally to re-apply for their jobs.  More than 50 percent of United States citizens now live in areas where marijuana is legal, but many employers terminate employees for drug screens that show marijuana use.

NORML’s political director said that he hoped the Amazon decision would push other employers to make the same move.

Amazon explained its decision was due to national statistics showing that pre-employment marijuana testing impacted people of color disproportionately and that it recognized a shift in the country’s approach to the substance. Many states, municipalities, and cities now limit an employer’s ability to screen applicants for past marijuana use.

In 2015, the Delaware House Bill 39 (HB 39) decriminalized cannabis possession to some degree. In both 2018 and 2019, Gov. John Carney signed bills that would allow certain marijuana convictions to be expunged.

Those who have been terminated or unable to get hired due to a positive marijuana screening test should speak with the experienced Wilmington employment lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A.  Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, the firm serves clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County. Call  (302) 600-1935 or complete an online form to schedule a free consultation today.