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Amazon Supports Marijuana Legalization and Drops Weed Testing

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A federal bill to legalize marijuana use got a powerful ally in Amazon. The Jeff Bezos-owned company announced its support for marijuana legalization. Alongside this, they are no longer screening potential employees for weed usage.

Amazon’s Weed Testing

marijuana legalization amazon statement
Screenshot from Reuters

The e-commerce giant’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer, Dave Clark, confirmed this news in their blog post. He said that the company’s public policy team now actively supports the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act). In the proposed bill, cannabis will be legalized at the federal level and expunge criminal records.

Clark said that Amazon would drop their weed testing requirements for some jobs, specifically those that the Department of Transportation doesn’t regulate. In the blog post, Clark announced this as one of the two substantial changes in company policy. The other is their scaling down on their monitoring of their employees’ “Time off Task,” the company’s measure of ensuring worker productivity. 

Speculations

Amazon’s consumer boss also said that this endeavor aligns with the company’s vision to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. With a monthly average of 214.8 million website visitors from around the globe, the speculations are rife. It is, after all, listed on Forbes as the #2 workplace in the world in 2020.

Because of this, the update is seen as something of a big deal. Some see this as the company being hard up for employees. Although currently not selling marijuana, others think that this may be the company’s efforts at dominating the cannabis market. 

MORE In A Nutshell

Briefly, the MORE Act seeks marijuana legalization at the federal level by deleting the plant from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Doing so will allow businesses to get a wide variety of national services previously unavailable to them.

Marijuana Legalization

Many US states have already legalized marijuana use, including Amazon’s home state, Washington. Weed is legal in 16 states, while medical marijuana is legal in 36 states. Despite this, many employers predominantly refuse to work with the cannabis industry as it is still a classified substance. 

However, in nearly all 50 states, Amazon has a fulfillment center and is now building a headquarters in Virginia which is set to legalize weed on July 1. This is a leap that, according to Clark, is bigger than Amazon itself.

Changing Course

In the past, the e-commerce behemoth disqualified people from working for them if they tested positive for marijuana use. Clark added that they had changed their course due to state laws that are moving across the nation. However, the company will still do impairment checks and tests for drugs and alcohol after an incident.

Class Action Suit

All these may have something to do with a proposed class-action suit that Amazon was hit with in March of this year. It claimed that the company was violating a New York City law by testing job applicants for marijuana use at their local facilities. 

According to the Westlaw report, this is after receiving an accusation from the New York Attorney General’s office. It charged Amazon for its failure to take steps in protecting its workers at its warehouse in Staten Island in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amazon has since denied the allegations. The company has filed its own lawsuit. They claimed that the state laws mentioned in the AG’s complaints were preempted by federal labor and workplace safety laws.

Moving On

Amazon is now hoping that the policymakers act swiftly and pass the legislation soon and that other employers follow their suit. The blog post written by Clark ended on a positive note. This positivity extends to a few weed companies that are publicly traded.

Pharmaceutical and cannabis companies such as Tilray have seen a rise of up to 5% on shares. The Chronos Group, likewise, had its stocks boosted up by as much as 3%. Sundial, a healthcare company, has seen an above 10% rise in its stock prices.

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BackboneAI – A Brand New Kind of Automation

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Catchy, isn’t it? While the pitch isn’t necessarily a sexy one, the product sure is. BackboneAI is the future of intercompany data automation. If you don’t know what that is, you’re not alone. This is a completely new category of automation. 

By building frictionless data networks through intercompany automation, BackboneAI transforms supplier and customer relationships through real-time data synchronization, fast API connectivity, and third-party application and database integration. 

Based in New York City and founded in 2019 by Rob Bailey, BackboneAI helps companies collaborate more efficiently by automating their intercompany data processes and optimizing communication through technology. 

If you ask Bailey, he’d tell you to think of BackboneAI as the intelligent layer that connects data silos between companies in a secure way so that companies are able to work faster and more productively with suppliers and customers. In short, it’s a simplifier for companies. 

COVID-19 did a number on the global supply chain. As we recover, we need to look towards constructive, innovative alternatives. BackboneAI very well could be the foundation of a brand new kind of infrastructure as we rebuild. 

BackboneAI is currently at $4.7 million in funding and growing. These are early days for a company, but for what they’re offering, they’re worth watching. Any company that aims to simplify an increasingly complicated world is on a decent path.

We’ll see how BackboneAI fits itself into a technical space where everything is at risk of being hacked or phished. If all goes well, we’ll have a new “backbone” to our software.  

  • 2019 – Founded by Rob Bailey

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ClickUp – One App To Replace Them All

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If your company is having productivity and organizational issues, you may want to check out ClickUp

Founded in 2017 by Alex Yurkowski and Zeb Evans, ClickUp is a customizable productivity platform that replaces other workplace apps for all users and all departments in an organization. Rather than having a communication app, a payroll app, a human resources app, you can have all one app for all departments. 

Sounds easier, right? 

The idea is that using this all-in-one application will increase team productivity. ClickUp works for any and every type of team within a company or organization. Team members can plan, organize, and collaborate on projects. They can also create documents, reminders, goals, calendars, and even sweet little inbox tools. 

Basically, anything you need to run an organization or company can be done through ClickUp. Anything to simplify management is probably going to be a success. If you have to communicate through different platforms and mediums, things can get disorganized, lost, or plain-old “screwed up.” 

ClickUp is a fully customizable app, intended for anyone to adapt the app as it fits best. Different companies require different methods of organization. What a cybersecurity company needs versus what a fashion lifestyle brand needs are vastly different. An all-in-one task management app needs to be versatile enough to support all industries. 

ClickUp seems to be managing that just fine. With funding at $135 million and a valuation of $1 billion, ClickUp is on the up. 

  • 2017 – Founded by Alex Yurkowski and Zeb Evans

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Olympic Medalist Dotsie Bausch Wants You To Switch4Good

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Dotsie Bausch, founder of Switch4Good, has a question for everyone. 

Have you ever wondered why milk is required in public school lunches? The United States is the only country in the world that requires children to drink cow’s milk.

Holy crap, what are we doing? Why are we feeding – especially to children, of which 70 percent of them cannot digest – Why are we making them drink this fluid?

It’s a little weird, no? 

Maybe it wasn’t so weird in the 1940s… 1840s… or 840s… 

Today, however, we’ve learned a thing or two about how cow’s milk affects our bodies. 

Upwards of 70 percent of the world’s population cannot digest cow’s milk, and it makes you quite sick – this lactose intolerance. I’ll tell you, it’s pretty awful. 

“Wheezing, stuffy nose, coughing. And then big-time gut distress: constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping. 

“It’s pretty gnarly.”

Dotsie Bausch, Olympic medalist and founder of Switch4Good

It may take some time for us to shake the familiarity of cow’s milk in our diets. We’ve been inundated with cow’s milk (or just “milk,” for the layperson) from ads, culture, government requirements, lobbyist pressure, and dairy farmers. 

Here’s The Truth About Milk…

Milk is meant for the babies of the mammals producing it. Cow’s milk is for calves. Human milk is for babies. Cat’s milk is for kittens. You get it. 

Mammalian milk contains the necessary fats and vitamins for us to grow into strong healthy grown mammals. We, and every other infant mammal, contain an enzyme that allows us to digest that milk. That enzyme disappears once breastfeeding has concluded. 

Northern European farmers were among the first to go “You know what? I want to try that cow’s milk. I mean… why not, right?” roughly 6000 years ago. Or so the theory states. Over time, they developed a genetic mutation to the enzyme that allows us to digest milk. These humans evolved to digest cow’s milk for as long as they were alive. 

This familiarity with cow’s milk extended into the business world when it came time to make money off of that sweet, sweet utter juice. Milk was everywhere: delivered to our door by the milkman, in our schools, in our breakfast cereals. 

Imagine getting made fun of for not putting milk in your cereal as a kid. Guess who’s the weirdo now, Stacy?!

Soon enough, “Got Milk?” entered the zeitgeist. Along with it, the idea that to be a successful athlete, you needed to drink milk. If Cal Ripken can play more consecutive games than any other baseball player, it must be the milk, right? 

Speaking of athletes. Did you know that milk is the official sponsor of Team USA

PED – Performance Enhancing Dairy

New Zealand and the United States are the only countries in the world whose Olympic Committees are not government funded. They have to go out and get private funding.” 

Enter the dairy industry to save the day! With “Got Milk?” featuring every famous athlete under the sun, it makes total sense that they would sponsor the Olympics. Since the government can’t be bothered, apparently. 

I have been exposed to and definitely pressured upon throughout that journey that milk – the mammalian secretions of the cow – are the only real way for athletes to recover from hard workouts, the only real way to build muscle and muscle tissue, and to repair and recover.

“I started to peel back all of the layers on everything that I had been taught and learned and really recognized that it was truly coming from a marketing perspective, not from an evidence-based perspective.

It was at that moment, during the 2012 London Games (after winning the Silver in cycling), that inspired Dotsie Bausch to start Switch4Good.

I had this idea to put on a commercial on the closing ceremonies of what then was the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on NBC that basically has seven of us, all Olympic athletes from four different countries. 

“We’re standing up and saying, ‘Hey, guess what? We don’t need cows’ milk to recover. This isn’t the truth. It’s not a thing. And there are thousands of athletes that are finding a new way forward.’

“The dairy industry got it kicked off after it aired three times.

Angering The Milk Masters

That move only served to fire Dotsie Bausch and her fellow athletes up. After being silenced by the dairy lobby, Switch4Good only got deeper and more motivated. The best way to crush your adversary is to silence them, right? 

Smooth move, milk hawkers. You couldn’t just let it be. You just had to keep making your milk money. 

Thanks to Big Milk’s fear and power, Switch4Good got strategizing. 

We work in two ways: behavior and culture change, but we also work on systemic change. We do quite a bit of work right now specifically to change the laws in the United States: that children have to be fed cow’s milk in schools. And if they don’t want one, they have to have a milk note from their parents. 

“So, we’re working with members of Congress. It’s actually a regulatory change, not a statutory change. So it doesn’t have to be voted on.”

They even had a win. 

One of our big wins from last year was getting the dietary guidelines of America to put soy milk in as nutritionally equivalent so that here is a choice. 

“Now we have to implement the choice into schools.

Soy milk?! In public schools?! How… reasonable. 

Dairy Nonsense

Some of you may consider soy milk in public schools to be hippie nonsense. But you’d be wrong. What is nonsense is drinking mammalian secretions from a mammal that is not at all related to humans.

Frankly, gorilla milk would make more sense. 

Switch4Good and its mission to convert all dairy consumers into non-dairy consumers is an uphill battle. There isn’t just resistance from the powerful dairy industry. There’s personal resistance from smaller communities. 

It wouldn’t be America without someone yelling, “You can’t tell me what to do!” Right? 

Dotsie Bausch understands this better than you think. 

I grew up for thirty-five years of my life eating animals and the products of animals . . . loving animals, but mistreating them via I was a competitive horseback rider. So, it’s a journey and it’s painful to unpack 100 percent.”

If you believe that we’re all equal – and I mean all – whether you have four legs or two, whether you have hair all over your body or just on your head – that [humans and animals] should have a relationship of mutuality and respect, not extraction. 

“And that is how we treat so many animals – especially our food – as a product to extract from. 

“That’s not equality, and I don’t think that’s fair.”

Convincing The Milk Drinkers

When it comes to convincing people to Switch4Good (see what I did there?) the strategies vary. What often gets people in the door is their own health. Say you want to cut dairy out and you start by drinking your coffee black. The idea of keeping yourself healthy is enough to check out Switch4Good and what they have to offer. 

That, as Dotsie Basuch has pointed out, isn’t the “stickiest” of strategies. People give up on themselves for a variety of reasons. 

If Dotsie Bausch and company want people to Switch4Good (look, I did it again!) they need to consider all strategies. One of the “stickiest,” according to market research, is the ethics side to this debate. 

How Does Bessie Feel?

Imagine, just for a moment, that you’re a cow. You’re just trying to live your life, eating your cud, enjoying the sun, lying down when it’s about to rain. It’s kinda nice, no?

All is well when – suddenly – your perfectly nice day is interrupted by forcible impregnation. 

Wait, what?!

You carry your calf to term, about nine months or so. Then you give birth (hopefully with the help of a ranchhand in the midst of their own coming-of-age story).

THEN, if forced impregnation wasn’t enough, you have your beautiful baby calf taken away from you. 

Bruh. 

Now, the milk you have produced to make your calf big and strong is now being harvested and extracted for some other entitled mammal to consume from a tiny paper carton in between math and gym.

Not only that, but sometimes it’s wasted through the nose of some snotty child, or mixed with chocolate like some kind of dessert! It’s even been used to ruin perfectly delicious coffee.

So, you’re forced to have a calf, it’s taken from you, and so is the milk you produce. All for the glorious pleasure of wealthy industry tycoons. Then, next year, it happens all over again.

Not so fun being the cow, is it? 

Taking On Big Milk

Dotsie Bausch and Switch4Good have their work cut out for them. They’re fighting an uphill battle against industry, government, culture, and the stubborn. 

We’re still at the beginning. So quite honestly, I feel proud of the team that goes out every day –  no matter how many doors are slammed in our face – because the door slams multiple times a day. It’s not like we’re getting water to children in sub-Saharan Africa. Everybody on planet Earth is like, ‘Yup, that’s a good idea!’ We are still seeding the idea that [consuming dairy] is not a good idea.

“We’re not doing something that’s popular. We’re doing something that’s straight up against the grain . . . eye-to-eye with the status quo. And it’s hard to get up every day with hope because it’s not wildly popular what we’re doing – nor do many people want to lean into it – it’s very hard to get attention and recognition. 

“It’s the fierceness and the grit of the team to wake up every day and get creative and keep fighting.”

If anyone can get everyone in the world to Switch4Good (last time, I swear) it’s Dotsie Bausch and company. 

Will you Switch4Good?

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