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Elon Musk said he and the 'whole of SpaceX' had to be drug tested for a year after he smoked weed on Joe Rogan's podcast

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4 days ago gdean@insider.com (Grace Dean,Huileng Tan)
"I don't even know how to smoke a joint," Elon Musk told the hosts of the "Full Send" podcast. Theo Wargo/WireImage © Theo Wargo/WireImage "I don't even know how to smoke a joint," Elon Musk told the hosts of the "Full Send" podcast. Theo Wargo/WireImage
  • Elon Musk said he had to take drug tests for a year after smoking weed on Joe Rogan's podcast in 2018.
  • He and the "whole of SpaceX" were subjected to random drugs tests by the government, he said.
  • "I don't even know how to smoke a joint," the tech billionaire told the "Full Send" podcast Thursday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the federal government required that he was drug tested for a year after he smoked weed on Joe Rogan's podcast in 2018, adding that the "whole of SpaceX" was impacted.

Speaking about the incident during an appearance on the Full Send podcast, released Thursday night, Musk said that he got "a lot of backlash," including from SpaceX competitors, because weed isn't legalized on a federal level and because SpaceX has federal government contracts.

"The consequences for me and for SpaceX were actually not good," the tech billionaire said, adding that he hadn't expected so much criticism. The interview — which went viral at the time — took place in California, where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use.

"I had to have like random drug tests and stuff after that, to prove that I'm not like a drug addict," Musk said, adding that the tests were required by the federal government. "They drug tested me for everything, and randomly. It wasn't like 'pick a day.' I had like a whole year of random drug tests."

"Unfortunately it wasn't just me but the whole company, the whole of SpaceX, had to have random drug tests," Musk continued. It's unclear exactly how many workers this affected, but SpaceX had around 6,000 employees in early 2019.


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Under the Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988, workers at any companies that receive a federal contract of $100,000 or more are prohibited from using or distributing drugs in the workplace and the firm must have a drug-free workplace policy.

During the interview with Full Send, Musk also discussed attitudes towards drugs, including President Joe Biden's efforts to release basketball player Brittney Griner from custody in Russia after officials said they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

"If there are people in jail in America for the same stuff, shouldn't we free them too?" Musk said. "My opinion is that people should not be in jail for nonviolent drug crimes." Musk has previously criticized how the US persecutes weed-related crimes.

"Some people are still pretty uptight about these things," he added.

Musk didn't comment on how often he smokes weed, but said he has little skill at it.

"I don't even know how to smoke a joint, obviously, I mean look at me, I have no joint-smoking skills," he said.

Musk reiterated previous comments he made that weed is "not that good for productivity," but said that psychedelics can be helpful for some mental-health conditions.

During the three-hour interview with Full Send, Elon Musk also confirmed that he had nine children, dismissed theories that aliens could exist, and said that he'd moved to a $45,000 property in South Texas.

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