Elon Musk Takes Tesla One Toke Over the Line
The cost of marijuana has plummeted in recent years, except if you’re Elon Musk. The famous and famously troubled entrepreneur took one hit from a joint and paid for it with a big drop in the value of Tesla stock.
It didn’t help that Musk’s broadcasted toke coincided with news that Tesla’s chief of human resources and the chief accounting officer, hired just a month ago, quit on the same day.
Musk spent two hours and 30 minutes on Joe Rogan’s podcast talking with obvious sincerity about the difficulties running Tesla, speculating on a hard-to-imagine future of humans interfacing with artificial intelligence, discoursing on the increasing dangers of climate change and the urgency of transitioning rapidly to renewable energy, but all anyone has heard about the show is that Musk smoked pot.
To be precise, he inhaled once on a combination marijuana-and-tobacco cigarette handed to him by Rogan (who inhaled more than once and apparently more deeply than Musk). You should watch the entire podcast but for those eager to see what all the hullabaloo is about, fast forward to 2:09:34, which is when Rogan introduces the topic of “joints” by showing Musk a small case he purchased in Mexico, which contained the aforementioned joint.
“So, is that a joint? Or is it a cigar?” Musk asked, sounding genuinely puzzled. A few seconds later Rogan lit the joint while an apparently baffled Musk looked on. Rogan explained he was smoking a combination of pot and tobacco.
“I think I tried it once,” Musk said. It sounded like he was exaggerating.
“Come on, man,” Rogan coaxed, sounding and behaving like the kid your parents told you stay away from. “You probably can’t because of the stockholders, right?”
“It’s legal, right?" Musk asked as he accepted the proffered joint. He looked at it as though he needed to figure out how to operate it, inhaled once and handed it back. The joint then vanished from the set and the conversation meandered into a discussion of advanced crash avoidance systems for cars. The entire incident lasted no more than two minutes.
Rogan, however, was right about the stockholders. Tesla stock fell 9 percent after the markets opened this morning, at least temporarily accelerating a slide in Tesla stock since Aug. 7 when Musk announced, via a tweet while driving to the airport that morning, that he had funding “secured” to take Tesla private for $420 per share. Given that 420 is vernacular for smoking marijuana, speculation ensued that Musk smoked pot. According to him, $420 was merely a 20 percent premium on the cost of a Tesla share at the time, rounded up a dollar.
It soon became clear that Musk, who had not cleared announcing taking the company private with the board of directors, did not have funding secured. The tweet triggered an investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission and Tesla's stock has dropped about a third since then.