There’s been a lot of buzz around Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk lately, mostly because he smoked a blunt on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast with the titular host on Thursday night.
But why has a casual toke blown up the internet?
Well, the very next day, Tesla stocks tumbled to its lowest point in almost a year, but it probably wasn’t all due to Elon Musk’s cannabis use- although the media is sure making it seem like it.
Tesla also had some high profile C-suite resignations on Friday- Chief People Officer Gabrielle Toledano and Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton– but of course Elon Musk’s cannabis use dominated the headlines, and often not in a good way with some news outlets questioning Elon’s mental health for the sheer audacity of smoking a joint on a live broadcast.
Oh no, the horror!
The toke seen around the world is already being added to the list of Elon’s recent erratic behaviour. This is a textbook example of the cannabis stigma that still exists in the mainstream and it’s telling that in an almost 3-hour long interview where Elon Musk discusses AI and the nature of reality and the universe while also brandishing a samurai sword and drinking whiskey- smoking some cannabis is what’s got everyone freaking out.
Not to mention that recreational cannabis is legal in California where the podcast was filmed, it looks like Elon Musk didn’t even inhale. Perhaps he learned his smoking technique from Bill Clinton?
Check it out for yourself in the video below. It’s timestamped to the moment host Joe Rogan sparks up and says that Elon Musk “probably can’t [smoke] because of stockholders, right?” but after being assured that cannabis is legal (which it is in California where the podcast was filmed) Elon grabs that blunts and takes a toke.
As Joe Rogan goes on to extol the benefits of mixing cannabis and tobacco, Elon Musk mentions “alcohol is a drug but it’s been grandfathered in” which is a very salient point that most of the media reporting missed.
But investors are incredibly risk-averse, and cannabis is still seen as not normal in many circles- despite cannabis companies being listed on various stock exchanges, they can still face many hurdles when it comes to finding insurance companies and banks willing to do business with them- and the drop in Tesla’s stock price shows some of the dangers of having high profile Celebrity billionaire CEO’s like Elon Musk.
But either way you can’t argue that he gets a lot of attention- some of it good, some of it bad.
Some are even saying he could get into trouble for his cannabis use- if he was representing the company during the interview that would put him in contravention of Tesla’s workplace drug policies and now the US Air Force may be looking into revoking his security clearance for SpaceX because cannabis use is prohibited in the military and for those with government clearances due to federal law.
But at this point, the security clearance issue could be all smoke and no fire as a US Air Force spokesperson told CNBC on Friday:
“We will need time to determine the facts and the appropriate process to handle the situation.”
Which is more of a non-answer than anything that basically acknowledges that the Air Force is aware of the incident and may or may not do anything about it.
Like most sane people, Elon Musk doesn’t seem to think smoking cannabis is that big of a deal as he tweeted the link to his Joe Rogan interview early Friday morning and having a laugh at being referred to as a “business magnet” instead of “magnate”.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 7, 2018
Featured image courtesy of Sky News.