Amazon Will No Longer Test Employees for Marijuana

Amazon is dropping marijuana from its drug screening for employees.
amazon worker

The change is true for all its positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation.

Executive Summary

The change in policy comes as numerous states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana. Amazon’s move, as the nation’s second-largest employer, could signal other employers to follow suit with similar policies. The move is a good sign for the cannabis legalization movement.


“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” Dave Clark, CEO, worldwide consumer, Amazon said in a statement. “However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course.”

While some states have legalized marijuana, the substance still remains illegal at the federal level. In addition to changing its policy, Amazon also threw its support behind the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), which legalizes mairjuna at the federal level. The bill also would expunge criminal records, and it invests in impacted communities.

“We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” Clark said.


Exec summary

In addition, Amazon announced a change in how it measures employee productivity. The company’s infamous “Time off Task” metric, which measures how much time workers are away from their stations, has been the subject of criticism, with some employees arguing the tool creates more stress at work and places unrealistic expectations. For example, some employees report avoiding bathroom breaks in order to keep up the pace of their work.

“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, and focusing Time off Task conversations on how we can help,” Clark said June 1. “The goal is to refocus the conversations on instances where there are likely true operational issues to resolve. We believe this change will help ensure the Time off Task policy is used in the way it was intended."

See the full story at Chain Store Age.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article erroneously suggested Walmart also dropped marijuana from its employee drug screening. We regret the error.