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Amazon decided to hire marijuana users as deliverers and eliminate anti-doping for employees

Given the shortage of employees, Amazon's proposal is to hire delivery men who are marijuana users. He asked his partners and collaborators to eliminate anti-doping for this substance.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It is no secret that one of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on business in the United States is a shortage of employees . Against this background, Amazon proposed a solution that has caused controversy: hire marijuana users as distributors and eliminate cannabis antidoping .

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Last June, Jeff Bezos' company decided to stop testing its current and potential workers for marijuana . Now, Amazon is asking its delivery partners to do the same, according to correspondence accessed by Bloomberg .

The ecommerce giant invited these small businesses, which operate Amazon vans locally to deliver packages, to loudly announce that they no longer monitor candidates for marijuana use . This in order to increase the number of job applicants and add more staff to their ranks.

According to figures from Amazon cited by the outlet, this change could increase the number of job applicants by up to 400%. In contrast, the company claims, the detection of marijuana reduces the pool of potential workers by as much as 30%.

A delivery partner, quoted by Bloomberg, said that most prospects failed the drug test for using cannabis . Now that it only tests for other substances, such as opiates and amphetamines, there are more approved drivers .

Hiring cannabis users is not as easy as it sounds

Many delivery partners prefer to remain strict in their hiring policies and continue to do cannabis anti-doping . This is because, on the one hand, marijuana is not yet legal at the federal level in the United States, that is, it is still illegal in several states. Therefore, it will be difficult to equalize the conditions throughout the country.

Another aspect that worries small delivery companies is the implications that this would bring in terms of insurance and liability , as some drivers could use cannabis before going on a delivery route.

"If one of my drivers crashes and kills someone, and tests positive for marijuana, it will be my problem, not Amazon's ," an anonymous delivery partner told the outlet.

Although the company relaxed its measures and will hire marijuana users , that does not mean that it will allow them to work under its influence. Amazon emphasized that it has a ' zero tolerance' policy for employees who consume it during business hours.

"If a delivery partner works under the influence and tests positive after an accident or reasonable suspicion, that person will no longer be allowed to perform services for Amazon ," an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.

They are urged by employees

Amazon isn't the only company concerned about a worker shortage offering new work incentives . Earlier this month, Target Corp. announced that it would pay for college for its employees, while Applebee’s offered candidates free snacks as part of its strategy to add 10,000 new staff members.

For its part, Amazon plans to recruit about 55,000 people around the world this year. In fact, it announced that it will open about 400 jobs in Mexico , the majority in technological areas and administrative positions. In addition, it has been hiring thousands of workers for its warehouses, as more and more orders must be packed and shipped.

With the holiday shopping season so close, businesses are in a race against time to be able to keep up with demand . This not only means having the products in stock, but also having enough staff to make the logistics flow , from the warehouses to the door of the final consumer. In simpler terms, it's like Santa Claus lowered his elf hiring standards to save Christmas.