Mainstream media has jumped at the opportunity to harsh on cannabis after Elon Musk smoked a blunt on camera in a Joe Rogan Experience podcast interview that was live-streamed late Thursday night.
The two-and-a-half hour interview covers topics ranging from flamethrowers to aliens, artificial intelligence, and the end of the universe. Mr. Musk and comedian Joe Rogan, who hosts the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, sip whiskey throughout the interview but, about two hours in, Rogan lights a blunt and passes it to Musk, who sniffs at and hits the blunt one time. The two talk briefly about drug use, though Musk says he is “not a regular smoker of weed.”
“Alcohol is a drug that’s just been grandfathered in,” Musk said afterward, looking at his glass and musing about the hypocritical nature of prohibition.
Mainstream media reports noted that Tesla stock fell about five percent on Friday and tied the plummeting stocks in part to Musk’s appearance on Rogan’s podcast.
“It’s perfectly legal,” Rogan had said of the blunt, which is mostly true — the interview was filmed in California, where adult-use cannabis has been legalized, but the plant remains a Schedule 1 substance under federal law.
Some reports also suggested that the incident could have led to the departure of two senior Tesla executives. The executives in question, however, say they were driven away for different reasons: one reportedly gave his resignation on Tuesday because “the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company,” had exceeded his expectations; the other executive had been on an extended leave of absence but recently told Bloomberg News that she won’t be coming back.
In August, Musk tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private and would do so by buying stock back from shareholders at the price of $420 per share. He eventually abandoned the plan but then faced heavy criticism, a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a series of lawsuits accusing the Tesla CEO of market manipulation.
When asked about whether Tesla drug tests its employees, Musk wrote in an email to The Guardian:
“Our policy allows trace amounts of THC during work times, provided they are below the safety limit (much like a minimum alcohol level).” — Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, in an email to The Guardian