Amazon recommends recruitment of pot smokers as delivery drivers to overcome labor shortages




As the labor shortage looms before the holiday season, one market which is seeing a huge deficit is that of delivery drivers. There is a shortage of drivers for delivery as they get the lowest wages and have the longest hours when compared to school bus drivers. Recently, Bloomberg reviewed messages and advisory from Amazon Inc. that asked its delivery partners to recruit drivers who may smoke pot and  prominently advertise that they don’t screen applicants for marijuana use.


One message from the e-commerce giant recommended that the business owners mention that they don’t screen job applicants for marijuana in their job posters. It also noted that if they did this, there could be a 400 percent increase in the number of those who applied for drivers’ jobs, although it does not explain the rationale behind the numbers. It also says that screening for marijuana decreases the prospective number of workers by 30 percent.


All the delivery partners spoke anonymously to Bloomberg as Amazon frowns upon them for speaking to the media on any issue. One of them said that they found that marijuana was the main reason behind many of the failures on the drug tests. More drivers passed the test when they were screened for opiates and amphetamines while marijuana was excluded.


However, another business owner said that they have not stopped screening for marijuana as there are many states where weed is illegal. They are also aware of the implications if a driver under the influence of pot might crash or kill someone, increasing the business owners’ liabilities and insurance as Amazon does not pay these costs.


Amazon has been at the forefront of legalizing the use of marijuana at the federal and state level. In June, they said that they don’t test employees for marijuana unless mandated by law. However, a spokesperson also said that they have zero tolerance if an employee works while impaired, under the influence of alcohol or pot and such a person would no longer be allowed to work for the e-commerce giant.


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