Buy 1, Get 1 FREE! Special Autumn Offer Shop

Amazon Spent $5 Million Lobbying Cannabis Legalization in the 2nd Quarter of 2021 Alone

22 September 2021
The online behemoth has announced its financial support for two bills that seek to federally legalize cannabis in the US
22 September 2021
2 min read
Amazon Spent $5 Million Lobbying Cannabis Legalization in the 2nd Quarter of 2021 Alone

The company said in a statement this Tuesday that it was actively lobbying the US government to end the federal prohibition of cannabis in the country.

Amazon first voiced its support for the full legalization of the substance in June. It decided to throw its weight behind two current bills that aim to remove cannabis from the most restrictive part of the Controlled Substances Act. Currently, the plant and its constituents belong to Schedule I. Besides cannabis, it also includes heroin and LSD which doesn’t seem right on an intuitive level.

Both bills also propose to create a regulated market for cannabis which Amazon considers a sensible move.

Righting the Wrongs of Prohibition

An interesting thing about the legalization bills that Amazon is lobbying for is that they are both retroactive.

The first of them, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), aims to automatically expunge cannabis-related arrests, charges, and convictions. The other one was recently introduced in the Senate and is called Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. If passed, it will require spending part of the federal tax on marijuana sales for loans to historically disadvantaged individuals who want to start their own cannabis companies.

Amazon Has Already ‘Legalized’ Cannabis for its Employers

In the past, Amazon was like any other large corporation in the US in its approach to marijuana use among its workers. However, as Dave Clark, Amazon Consumer CEO, said, the company decided to change course considering the modern trends. They stopped screening would-be employees for marijuana use.

This new approach, however, has a more pragmatic and less idealistic flavor. Among Amazon’s workforce, warehouse workers are the most numerous category, and it has a staggering turnover of 150%. The company has been struggling with finding new employees for some time now. And without reviewing their recruiting policies, they were running the risk of exhausting the pool of employable young people in the country.

This is probably part of the reason Amazon advocates for broad cannabis legalization. It was a prominent member of the group of about 160 organizations who were lobbying for the reform this year. And Amazon spent $5 million in the second quarter of 2021 on these efforts.