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Amazon could change the landscape again with an end to marijuana drug tests for job applicants

Posted at 4:56 AM, Jun 03, 2021

(WXYZ) — Amazon changed how many of us do business from brick-and-mortar stores to click and order. The company now says it will stop marijuana drug testing for new applicants and it is expected to be the new game-changer for business.

“It’s such a significant change given the nature of the employer we’re talking about. I do think others will take a que from this,” said Deborah Gordon who is a Labor Law Expert and Attorney in metro Detroit.

Step inside Hayat Cannabis on 9 Mile Road in Hazel Park and you might think you’re in a high-end jewelry store, not a weed shop. Gone are the days of the dealer on the corner in the shadows. Pot has been among us for decades. This is the latest way the stigma is going away.

Ian Keener is a customer who has been using for 10 years.

“Yeah, it was illegal for a good portion of that time," Keener said. "So you're not getting tested was a good portion of how I made sure what jobs I picked out.”

The landscape is also changing with the demand. Justin Carter is the general manager at Hayat Cannabis. He says, “you get your closet smokers, you know? You get your soccer moms... you get your doctors, you get your stoners.”

Cannabis can stay in your system for up to 30 days. Most legal battles and lawsuits, including here in Michigan, Attorney Gordan says have been over the accuracy of the drug test.

“If an employer has a rule that you must pass a drug test, as many of them do to become employed here there’s very little you can do if their lab comes up with a false positive let’s say,” Gordan said.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can come to work stoned. We talked with one customer who didn’t want to show his face or give us his name.

“It’s a little-known fact that everyone in the grass cutting industry has smoked a little bit of grass," he said. "And that’s just a fact. And you know you’re not supposed to be operating heavy machinery but at some point, you’re into the rhythm for so much of it.”

Amazon will test people who are hired to run heavy equipment, drive trucks and would be under DOT regulations. But for the rest get relaxed expectations.

“So unless you are driving a vehicle you're operating heavy machinery, you're performing surgery on me or something," said Attorney Gordon. "I think most employers are saying, you know, it's okay, it's how different is that then you know having a glass of wine or a drink at night.”

Michigan is one of 16 states and Washington, D.C., where recreational marijuana use is legal. And Michigan is one of 36 states where medical marijuana use is legal.