By Prarthana Mitra
Appearing in a popular podcast with comedian Joe Rogan, Tesla Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and eccentric billionaire Elon Musk smoked marijuana (and swigged whiskey), drawing a US Air Force probe. The spliff (mixed with tobacco) was profferred by Rogan. Musk, 47, who is also known for using Ambien (a brain-addling sleeping drug), reportedly said marijuana kills productivity just weeks before the show, which took place in California where weed is legal for recreational and medical use.
However, this constitutes a security clearance breach according to SpaceX’s norms, as weed is prohibited for people with Musk’s level clearance, which he was given in 2015 when SpaceX began launching satellites for the Pentagon.
A retinue of recent controversies
Musk has been in muddy waters recently and his conduct is presently under scrutiny, especially after his erratic administrative decisions over making Tesla private and then rescinding that promise, besides facing indictments regarding market manipulation. When he proposed to buy back Tesla $420 a share, many news outlets questioned him if he was high when he made the tweet, which he denied replying, “Weed is not helpful for productivity. There’s a reason for the word ‘stoned.’ You just sit there like a stone on weed.”
He also faced social media wrath after a reckless tweet calling a British diver rescuing children in the Thailand cave “paedophile” after he refused his help. After the latest public debacle on Joe Rogan Experience, which was streamed live YouTube, Tesla stocks plummeted more than 9% in early trading, although many liberals are claiming that one drag does not need to be a national talking point. Several media publications have called it a stunt, while others have demanded a public apology.
On the show, the chairman and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX spoke on a range of topics, from flamethrowers to artificial intelligence even teasing an electric plane design. The Verge even described him as “visibly emotional as he described the need to adopt sustainable energies more quickly.”
However, the interview aired late Thursday has also sparked concern regarding his health. Reports of exhaustion due to excessive workload have surfaced in the recent past, and speculation mounted after his breakup with Canadian pop star Grimes. Besides managing Tesla and SpaceX, Musk is also the founder of the tunnelling startup Boring Co, Neuralink and several other tech companies.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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