‘Not even trace amounts’: Elon Musk’s alleged drug use sparks concern among Tesla, SpaceX execs


Elon Musk denied using illegal drugs on Sunday, claiming “not even trace quantities” of drugs or alcohol were found in his body over three years of random drug tests, after a report in the Wall Street Journal detailed how the Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder’s drug use worries colleagues in leadership positions at his companies.
Elon Musk has downplayed the allegations. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • Musk smoked marijuana on video during a recording session of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in 2018—a move that landed him in hot water with NASA, who demanded assurances SpaceX was a drug-free workplace in order to retain their status as the only government contractor approved to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.
  • The billionaire has since downplayed the stunt on Rogan’s show, claiming he only took “one puff” of marijuana on the podcast and telling biographer Walter Isaacson, “I really don’t like doing illegal drugs.”
  • According to Musk, he agreed to undergo random drug testing for three years after his appearance on the podcast—and claimed “not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol” have been found in his body since.
  • Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk, also confirmed to the Wall Street Journal the billionaire has “never failed a test,” and said the newspaper’s report included “false facts”—but did not disclose what those were.
  • In the past, Musk has also admitted to taking ketamine—a dissociative drug—to treat depression.
  • Ketamine is only approved for use by the FDA as an anesthetic, but clinical trials for “off-label” use of the drug to treat depression and other mood disorders have grown in recent years.
Key Background

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal published a detailed report on Musk’s drug use—which is reportedly concerning executives at SpaceX and Tesla. According to the report, Tesla board members have spoken informally about Musk’s drug use for years, and even approached his brother Kimbal Musk with concerns about his behavior.

Musk has also allegedly taken drugs with executives at his companies—sources told the Journal that Musk took recreational ketamine with his brother Kimbal, who sits on the boards of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as unnamed illegal drugs with SpaceX board member Steve Jurvetson. The newspaper also reported that former Tesla director Linda Johnson Rice left the company in 2019 due to his drug consumption and volatile behaviour.

Forbes Valuation

We value Elon Musk’s net worth at $243.5 billion, making him the wealthiest person in the world. Musk’s wealth is based on his ownership stakes in Tesla and SpaceX.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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