Amazon is encouraging pot smokers to get jobs as delivery drivers, a report suggests

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Amazon is encouraging pot smokers to get jobs as delivery drivers, a report suggests
Amazon has already liberalized its marijuana testing policy elsewhere. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Amazon has advised its delivery partners to stop screening would-be drivers for marijuana use, Bloomberg reported.
  • Dropping marijuana tests boosted job applications by 400%, Amazon said, per Bloomberg.
  • Amazon said that testing applicants for pot has disproportionately impacted communities of color.
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Amazon has advised the mom-and-pop companies operating its blue delivery vans to tell would-be drivers they won't be screened for marijuana use, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The direction by the e-commerce giant comes in the midst of a driver shortage that is causing disruptions to US supply chains, retailers, and mail services.

Dropping marijuana testing can hike job applications by up to 400%, Amazon said in correspondence to its delivery partners, seen by Bloomberg. Amazon didn't clarify how it calculated this figure, Bloomberg said.

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Screening prospective drivers for pot reduced job applications by 30%, Amazon said in the correspondence, per Bloomberg.

One of Amazon's delivery partners appeared to be unhappy about the advice.

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"If one of my drivers crashes and kills someone and tests positive for marijuana, that's my problem, not Amazon's," one anonymous partner told Bloomberg.

Another said that marijuana was the main reason why prospective drivers failed drug tests, but since they stopped screening for it, they'd taken more drivers on board.

Some delivery partners told Bloomberg they were worried about insurance and legal risks in states that still criminalize pot. Others said they were concerned about drivers potentially smoking a joint before heading out to work.

An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that testing applicants for pot has disproportionately impacted communities of color, which has stunted job growth. They also said Amazon employees who are "impaired" in the workplace would face serious consequences.

"If a delivery associate is impaired at work and tests positive post-accident or due to reasonable suspicion, that person would no longer be permitted to perform services for Amazon," they said.

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Amazon announced in June that it stopped drug testing for marijuana for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation. The retail giant said it backed legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana in the US.

The US faces a major shortage of workers, including as truck drivers, that could last for months, the Federal Reserve said in June.

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