Last month, Amazon endorsed lawmakers efforts to decriminalize weed. Now, bills that push its legalization at a federal level have not been gaining support from congresspersons. The question remains whether the e-commerce giant will use its immense lobbying power to influence lawmakers who have not supported it to change their stance on the bills.
Cannabis lobbyists and advocates say that Amazon has been engaging in such discussions with lawmakers in Washington D.C. What remains unclear is whether the company will use its consideration monetary and lobbying influence to advance cannabis reform across the country as corporate America as well as Congress has been slow in advocating reforms.
Amazon has a relaxed attitude to cannabis at the workplace. It has announced support for cannabis legislation. It has stopped drug testing for cannabis, in many instances, thereby expanding its number of workers.
Last month the e-commerce giant has said that its public policy team would be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. Also referred to as the MORE act, this legislation aims to decriminalize marijuana. It also provides expungement for non-violent cannabis offenses.
The MORE bill was passed by the House last year mainly along party lines and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced his own expanded version of a cannabis bill in the Senate last week. Amazon has not as yet commented whether it will support the new bill.
Industry groups and advocates have mixed feelings about Amazon’s decision to support the MORE Act according to POLITICO. Many of them acknowledge the money and muscle power Amazon can help and believe that both these factors will advance the passage of the bill.
On the flip side, they also believe that the company’s involvement indicates that it could be interested in the cannabis industry. It could lead to lobbying Congress in such a way that federal legislation becomes friendlier to big players rather than the small ones who are currently in the field.
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