Is Elon Musk’s Government Security Clearance at Risk From Smoking Pot?

After Elon Musk smoked a blunt on a live podcast, those close to him are questioning his decision-making skills.
Is Elon Musk's Government Security Clearance at Risk From Smoking Pot?
JD Lasica/ Wikimedia Commons

Last Friday was a hellacious day for Elon Musk. After puffing a blunt, sipping whiskey, and wielding a sword on Joe Rogan’s live-stream podcast Thursday evening, Tesla’s stock dropped nine percent and two high-profile executives abruptly quit. Then, on Friday night, Fox Business Insider and CNBC reported that the U.S. Air Force is looking into Musk’s alleged cannabis-use, putting his government security clearance at risk.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, however, Reuters reported the opposite. Captain Hope Cronin, a U.S. Air Force spokesperson, said the media reports stating that Musk’s security clearance was under investigation was inaccurate. Neither CNBC or Fox Business Insider revealed who gave them their scoop.

The Verge also reported that an Air Force official said the claims of an alleged government investigation on Musk’s drug-use was “premature and that the military hasn’t figured out what it’s going to do.”

It’s hard to fathom the backlash that’s occurred, especially in California where the plant is regulated. But Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, which provides satellite launching services to the government. That’s why he has a security clearance. But let us not forget that cannabis is still federally illegal. Thus, cannabis-use is strictly prohibited for those with a security clearance, as well as military personnel. 

Musk and Drugs

The SpaceX and Tesla Inc. CEO has been at the center of a string of mishaps over the last several months, sparking concern about potential drug use. And, this most recent episode added to the growing controversy over his behavior. In an intimate interview with the New York Times, Musk said he’s been working upwards of 120-hours a week, causing his friends to worry that he’s facing exhaustion. The article also quotes sources saying that Musk’s use of Ambien might be having adverse effects on him. Some of them suggested the sleep-aid might be behind his recent Twitter ramblings. 

All of this comes on the heels of an accusation made by rapper Azealia Banks that Musk was on LSD when he tweeted about taking Tesla private for $420 a share. Banks, who’s friends with singer Grimes—Musk’s girlfriend—tweeted that she saw him on acid and was there when he made the tweets. Musk denied the allegation.

Alas, the plan to take Tesla private was short-lived. It triggered an SEC investigation, and at least two lawsuits filed by short-sellers who claim it resulted in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.

It’s unclear whether the government will reprimand Musk for this most recent incident– or if an investigation is currently underway. What we do know is that cannabis is a fantastic alternative to Ambien.

Stay tuned for updates as the story evolves.

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