Amazon endorses GOP bill that would legalize marijuana on federal level
Amazon has endorsed a Republican-backed bill in Congress on Tuesday that would legalize marijuana on a federal level, leaving states to decide whether to prohibit or regulate it.
Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-SC) States Reform Act would remove cannabis as a federal Schedule I substance and introduce a new 3% federal tax on the substance.
Revenue from the tax would be routed help fund law enforcement and veterans’ health programs — and cannabis would remain illegal nationwide for anyone under 21 except for medical marijuana patients.
“Every state is different and every state should be able to dictate their cannabis laws,” Mace told The Post in an interview. “This bill would get the federal government out of the way.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, Amazon’s public policy arm said it was “pleased to endorse” Mace’s proposal.
“Like so many in this country, we believe it’s time to reform the nation’s cannabis policy and Amazon is committed to helping lead the effort,” the company said.
We’re pleased to endorse @RepNancyMace's States Reform Act. Like so many in this country, we believe it’s time to reform the nation’s cannabis policy and Amazon is committed to helping lead the effort. https://t.co/g04Dn5KZq5— Amazon Public Policy (@amazon_policy) January 25, 2022
Mace, a freshman Congresswoman who previously worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, told The Post that she was approached by Amazon representatives after she introduced the bill.
She said the company was motivated to endorse her bill because legal issues around marijuana can make hiring difficult.
“They’re looking at it from a workers perspective,” Mace said in an interview. “The prohibitions at the federal level really do affect their workforce.”
Amazon told Mace that it is not interested in selling marijuana on its website, according to the Congresswoman.
“That is not their goal, not their intention,” Mace said of the prospect of Amazon pushing pot. “They said that right off the bat.”
In June, Amazon stopped testing many job applicants for marijuana and said that it would support efforts to legalize the drug.
Mace expects Democrats, many of whom have supported weed legalization for years, to come out in support of her bill. She argued that Republicans are also likely to support her bill because it gives more power to states — and because weed legalization is extremely popular nationwide.
“Even in my very red state of South Carolina, statewide, medical cannabis is at an approval rating of 70%,” she said. “If we’re going to do cannabis reform at the federal level, Republicans need to have a seat at the table.”
Mace said she hadn’t spoken to representatives from other large US corporations like Walmart or FedEx about the bill, but that she expects Amazon’s endorsement to push other companies along.
“With Amazon coming out in support, we’ll see more businesses doing the same,” Mace said.
The bill has four Republican co-sponsors, Reps. Don Young of Alaska, Brian Mast of Florida, Tom McClintock of California and Peter Meijer of Michigan.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We believe it’s time to reform the nation’s cannabis policy and Amazon is committed to helping lead the effort,” Amazon said.