Elon Musk told his biographer that he “really” doesn’t like taking illegal drugs.
Musk famously smoked weed with Joe Rogan in 2018, and says he was subjected to random drug tests afterwards.
Sources previously told the Wall Street Journal Musk has also taken ketamine.
Elon Musk, who is known for cracking 420 jokes and has reportedly taken ketamine, told his biographer that he “really” doesn’t like taking illegal drugs.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Musk, the world’s richest person, has told people he takes small doses of ketamine to treat depression and had also been seen taking the drug recreationally. He had previously tweeted that he’d spoken to “many more people” who were helped by psychedelics and ketamine than SSRIs and amphetamines, medications prescribed as treatment for depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Musk hit the headlines after he smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2018.
He revealed last year on the “Full Send” podcast that the federal government required him and others members of SpaceX staff to undergo random drug testing for a year after his appearance to “prove that I’m not like a drug addict.” This is because workers at companies that receive federal contracts – like SpaceX – are prohibited from using drugs in the workplace, even though the interview with Rogan took place in California, where marijuana is legal.
Musk elaborated on this during interviews with Walter Isaacson for the journalist’s biography of the tech mogul.
“SpaceX was a NASA contractor, and they are big believers in the law,” Musk told Isaacson. “So I had to be subjected to random drug tests for a couple of years. Fortunately, I really don’t like doing illegal drugs.”
The interview with Rogan had been partly set up to quash bad publicity around Musk after he tweeted that Tesla would be going private at $420 a share. He told The New York Times that his original calculation put the price at $419 but that $420 “seemed like better karma.”
When he posted the tweet, “I was not on weed, to be clear,'” he told The Times. “Weed is not helpful for productivity. There’s a reason for the word ‘stoned.'”
The Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into the tweet. Musk’s lawyers reached a settlement with the commission that included Musk stepping down as Tesla’s chairman, paying a $40 million fine, putting two independent directors on the company’s board, and requiring clearance before making public comments, including tweets, about material information.
Musk told Isaacson that he had believed he’d done nothing wrong and only agreed to settle to stop Tesla from going bankrupt. “I was forced to concede to the SEC unlawfully,” Musk told Isaacson. “Those bastards.”
Shortly after the $420 tweet, Musk revealed his vulnerable side during an interview with The New York Times in which he “alternated between laughter and tears.” He told the publication that there’d been times when he “didn’t leave the factory for three or four days” and that “from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come.” This led to some concerns about Musk’s state of mind.
Musk’s PR specialist told him that he needed to do a long interview to “kill this nonsense speculation around your mental health,” Isaacson wrote.
Musk went on Rogan’s podcast in September 2018. His use of weed was picked up by news outlets, accompanied by screenshots of Musk holding the spliff, and Tesla shares fell.
“I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” Musk had told Rogan, adding that he “almost never” smoked it and didn’t notice it having any effect on him when he did.
During his appearance on the “Full Send” podcast four years later, Musk said: “I don’t even know how to smoke a joint, obviously. I mean, look at me, I have no joint-smoking skills.”
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