Genial, sick (he suffers from bipolar disorder and Asperger’s syndrome), stressed (from overwork and very little sleep): Elon Musk and his fans have offered various explanations for his unconventional opinions, his unfiltered speeches, and his provocations or antics. But in recent years, several executives and board members of his companies and other people close to the richest man in the world have developed a persistent concern that there is another component driving his behavior: the use of drugs, even illegal, as of 2017.
And they fear that such consumption by the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX it could have consequences not only for his health but also for the six companies and billions in assets he oversees, including X, the former Twitter. Revealing the fears of managers and shareholders of his empire is the Wall Street Journal.
According to people who witnessed his drug use and others with knowledge of it, Musk has used LSD, cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms, often at private parties around the world, where attendees sign non-disclosure agreements or give up their cell phones to enter. In 2018, for example, he took several LSD tablets during a party held in Los Angeles.
That same year he smoked marijuana in public at the Joe Rogan show. The following year he celebrated with “magic mushrooms” at an event in Mexico. In 2021, he took ketamine recreationally with his brother, Kimbal Musk, in Miami during a house party during Art Basel. According to the WSJ, he also used illegal drugs with Steve Jurvetson, a former member of the Tesla board of directors and current member of the Space X board of directors.
A problem that in 2019 would have led then-Tesla executive Linda Johnson Rice not to run for re-election to the board. Some believe he was also under the influence of drugs when he tweeted his plans to take Tesla private in 2018provoking the opening of an investigation by the SEC. People close to Musk, who is now 52 years old, assure that his drug use continues, in particular the consumption of ketamine, which he claims to take against depression with a prescription “off label” medicine.
While his lawyer Alex Spiro assures that Musk is “regularly and randomly subjected to drug tests at SpaceX and has never failed one”.
Illegal drug use, in addition to breaking SpaceX and Tesla policies, would likely also represent a violation of federal policies that could jeopardize SpaceX’s billions of dollars in government contracts with NASA (it is the only company USA authorized to transport astronauts to the ISS) and the Pentagon (which purchases rockets and uses its satellite networks).
Without forgetting that Musk, as CEO and founder of SpaceX, has clearance for classified information relating to national security. Musk is integral to the value of his companies, potentially putting at risk about $1 trillion in assets, tens of thousands of jobs and much of the U.S. space program. Until now, investors have always privately discussed his drug use and turned a blind eye to his extraordinary results in recent years. But now they may no longer hide their fears.
Musk criticizes WSJ on drugs, never tested positive in 3 years
Elon Musk criticizes the Wall Street Journal after its article on the billionaire’s drug use. Musk claims he has not tested positive on any random tests in the past three years and references his successes at Tesla and SpaceX in his defense, implying that if drug use increased his productivity then “I would have to definitively assume it.” The use of illegal drugs could violate federal policies and jeopardize billions of dollars in contracts SpaceX has with the US government, as well as possibly breaking Tesla and SpaceX corporate policies.