16th November 2021
By Roland Sebestyén
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In recent years, Amazon has been one of the largest companies to join lobbying for the liberation of recreational cannabis (in the US, at least). But now, the company could be in trouble over a cannabis smuggling scandal in India.

Reuters reports that police have summoned Amazon’s local executives in India after smugglers allegedly used the site for the supply of illegal cannabis.

Officers arrested two men who were reportedly using Amazon’s platform to order and smuggle the drug to various states. According to the police, the two men were found with 20kg of cannabis.

Manoj Singh, a senior police official in the district, said: “The international company has the power of artificial intelligence, so it’s a big thing happening on their platform.

“There is involvement of Amazon at many levels in this cannabis delivery – from providing logistical support to delivery.

“The lawyers from Amazon will probably visit us tomorrow.”

The executive was asked by the police to explain why can the platform be used by criminals to purchase and distribute illegal substances.

In a statement, Amazon said they started their own investigation as to how could this happen in India.

They added: “We do not allow the listing and sale of products which are prohibited under law to be sold in India.”

Amazon has long been in favour of cannabis legalisation in the US. A few weeks ago, the company added to calls on Congress to pass a bill that would legalise cannabis on a federal level, making the drug more available across the country.

Amazon has also stopped testing their US delivery drivers for cannabis. The policy change also means that new employees won’t be tested either.

Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of human resources, wrote: “We strongly believe the time has come to reform the nation’s cannabis policy, and we are committed to helping lead the effort.

“Today’s status quo is unfair and untenable. Pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacts people of colour and acts as a barrier to employment.

“We’ve found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool.”

Of course, there are massive differences between how the US and India handle cannabis. Nonetheless, the use of the platform for the transportation of drugs – including cannabis – is not supposed to be permitted in either country.

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