A juicy new story highlights the drug diet of some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful individuals, including Elon Musk.
The story, published last week by the Wall Street Journal, claimed that Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of Twitter, takes ketamine and that Google co-founder Sergey Brin likes to dabble with psychedelic mushrooms.
“Routine drug use has moved from an after-hours activity squarely into corporate culture, leaving boards and business leaders to wrestle with their responsibilities for a workforce that frequently uses. At the vanguard are tech executives and employees who see psychedelics and similar substances, among them psilocybin, ketamine and LSD, as gateways to business breakthroughs,” the story said.
According to the Journal, the “account of Musk’s drug use comes from people who witnessed him use ketamine and others with direct knowledge of his use.”
After the story was published, Musk took to Twitter to tout ketamine’s virtues as a treatment for depression.
“Depression is overdiagnosed in the US, but for some people it really is a brain chemistry issue,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “But zombifying people with SSRIs for sure happens way too much. From what I’ve seen with friends, ketamine taken occasionally is a better option.”
Musk has spoken favorably about certain drugs in the past. Speaking at CodeCon in 2021, Musk said that people should be “open to psychedelics.”
“A lot of people making laws are kind of from a different era,” Musk said at the conference. “As the new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics.”
Musk also memorably shared a blunt with Joe Rogan on the latter’s popular podcast in 2018.
“I know a lot of people like weed and that’s fine,” Musk told Rogan during the interview, “but I don’t think it’s very good for productivity.”
Earlier this year, Musk had to testify in a California court about a tweet in which he appeared to make a corny 420 joke.
In the tweet from 2018, Musk said that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420.”
“Funding secured,” he tweeted.
That caught the attention of a number of Tesla shareholders, who filed a class action lawsuit against Musk alleging that he had misled them on the company’s stock price.
“You rounded up to 420 because you thought that would be a joke that your girlfriend will enjoy, isn’t that correct?” the prosecutor representing the shareholders asked.
“No,” Musk replied, saying that “there is some, I think, karma around 420.”
Musk said that 420 wasn’t a weed joke, but a roughly 20% premium on the $419 stock price at the time. “420 was not chosen because of a joke,” Musk testified. “It was chosen because there was a 20 percent premium over the stock price.” Musk also claimed that it was a “coincidence.”
The “drug movement” powering Silicon Valley’s elite that was highlighted in this week’s Wall Street Journal feature “isn’t a medical experiment or a related investment opportunity, but a practice that has become for many a routine part of doing business,” coupled “with risks of dependence and abuse,” the newspaper reported.
“Silicon Valley has long had a tolerance toward drug use—many companies don’t test employees regularly—but the phenomenon is worrying some companies and their boards, who fear they could be held liable for illegal activity, according to consultants and others close to the companies,” according to the Journal. “Users rely on drug dealers for ecstasy and most other psychedelics, or in elite cases, they employ chemists. One prolific drug dealer in San Francisco who serves a slice of the tech world is known as ‘Costco’ because users can buy bulk at a discount, according to people familiar with the business. ‘Cuddle puddles,’ which feature groups of people embracing and showing platonic affection, have become standard fare.”