Tesla billionaire Elon Musk told a podcast that he had to prove to the US federal government that he was not a drug addict after he publicly smoked marijuana on the Joe Rogan Show.
The world’s richest man came under a government microscope because of ‘one puff’ in September 2018, telling the Nelk Boys and John Shahidi podcast it was ‘pretty nutty’.
But he pointed the finger at his rivals in the space industry for inciting the government to investigate him.
‘I did get a lot of backlash, because it’s still federally illegal,’ the tech titan said.
‘Space X has federal government contracts, so our competitors were like ”why aren’t you doing anything, look at him brazenly smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast.”
‘They drug tested me for everything.’
The world’s richest man came under a government microscope because of ‘one puff’ in 2018, which is still federally illegal, telling the Nelk Boys and John Shahidi podcast it was ‘pretty nutty’
Musk had sent Tesla stock briefly tumbling after he was filmed taking a marijuana and tobacco joint from Joe Rogan and having a tentative puff while discussing Tesla’s plans for an airplane
Elon Musk also weighed in on the fate of basketball star Brittney Griner, facing nine years in a Russian penal colony for having vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage
Musk had sent Tesla stock briefly tumbling after he was filmed taking a marijuana and tobacco joint from Joe Rogan and having a tentative puff while discussing Tesla’s plans for an airplane.
The video quickly went viral as one of the world’s richest and most influential men was seen consuming drugs on camera.
Although the drug is legal in California – where the incident took place – the one puff by Musk knocked billions off Tesla’s value, with shares falling more than nine per cent.
Musk was forced to reassure investors and the public that he was not ‘on weed’ shortly afterwards.
But he continued to show his support for weed users when he tweeted about the fate of basketball star Brittney Griner, who was recently sentenced to a Russian gulag for nine years for having vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage.
Upon the news that Joe Biden is willing to swap arms deal Viktor Bout for Griner, Musk wrote: ‘Maybe free some people in jail for weed here too?’
He accompanied the tweet with a meme of a nonplussed man, captioned: ‘People in the US in jail for weed while the government trades a Russian war criminal to free a woman’s basketball player in jail for weed.’
In 2020, the Tesla CEO tweeted: ‘Selling weed literally went from major felony to essential business (open during pandemic) in much of America and yet many are still in prison. Doesn’t make sense, isn’t right.’
However, he has not always been a proponent of weed users, telling the New York Times before his puff on Rogan: ‘weed is not helpful for productivity.’
‘There’s a reason for the word ‘stoned,” he told the outlet. ‘You just sit there like a stone on weed.’
As well as founding Tesla, with a market capitalization of nearly a trillion dollars, entrepreneur whizz Musk also founded SpaceX, which won the federal contract to ferry US astronauts into space after the retirement of the space shuttle.
Most recently, in January, the US government awarded Musk’s company a $102million contract to transport military supplies and humanitarian aid around the world using a rocket.
SpaceX footage shows the Falcon 9 launch of the Korea Lunar Pathfinder Orbiter (KPLO) to a ballistic lunar transfer orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida yesterday
Blue Origin took NASA to court over losing a $2.9billion lunar landing contract to SpaceX last fall, with the US Federal Court of Claims ruling against Musk’s rival and prompting Musk to tweet a Judge Dredd meme
Some of SpaceX’s competitors include British aerospace company BAE Systems, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin, founded by Musk’s personal rival for the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos.
Blue Origin took NASA to court over losing a $2.9billion lunar landing contract to SpaceX last fall, which they claimed was ‘unfair’ and showed favoritism to SpaceX.
The US Federal Court of Claims ruled against Musk’s rival.
Musk responded in maverick fashion by tweeting a meme of Judge Dredd and the caption: ‘You have been judged!’
Bezos tweeted that it was not the decision they wanted, but ‘we respect the court’s judgement’ and he wished NASA and SpaceX success.
The incident goes some way to illustrating the mutual antipathy that exists between Musk and Bezos.
The weed furor was just one of countless scandals that continually dog the eccentric billionaire and unnerve investors.
His personal life is frequently the subject of tabloid gossip, with rumors of an affair with the wife of Google billionaire Sergey Brin.
And recent court documents revealed that the tech billionaire quietly had twins with one of his top executives in November, weeks before he welcomed a child with music star Grimes via surrogate.