LOS ANGELES–Energy storage company Tesla shares on Friday, at markets open, quickly dropped seven percent in value after video of Tesla founder Elon Musk was posted showing him in an appearance on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, smoking a large blunt and firing off one of his own Boring Company flamethrowers. Musk also sipped a glass of whiskey.
During an interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast video, Rogan, who is a vocal cannabis advocate, was interviewing Musk. The host lit a large blunt and Musk asked if “it’s joint or a cigar?”
Rogan stoked the blunt with a few puffs and commented, implying to Musk that due to concerns over stockholders, he probably was not able to indulge freely in smoking cannabis, presumably especially in public. Musk, whose curiosity seemed piqued by the large, smoky blunt, listened as Rogan explained that it was cannabis rolled in tobacco leaf.
The Tesla founder commented that he had tried a blunt (or cannabis) once, and then took a few shallow puffs, after offered by Rogan. Before puffing, Musk asked, “It’s legal, right?” to which Rogan replied, “Totally legal.”
A few high-level executives at Tesla have been prompted to leave the company even prior to the video including chief accounting officer Dave Morton, who resigned Tuesday, citing intense media scrutiny, according to CNBC. Media reports said that Tesla’s HR director and vice president of communications are also exiting the company, under already tendered resignations.
Another CNBC report pointed out that the Tesla founder might have violated his own company policy regarding being “intoxicated” at work, if one were to argue that Musk’s appearance on the podcast was representing Tesla as its CEO. Media reports said that Musk’s federal security clearance status may now be in question, since cannabis is a federally prohibited Schedule 1 drug.
The controversy comes after several other recent high profile incidents involving Musk. The CEO revived interest in a somewhat bizarre social media feud with Thai cave rescue diver Vernon Unsworth, who Musk has alleged was a “pedo,” after the diver’s comments that Musk’s attempts at aiding the dramatic cave rescue were unworkable. Ultimately, 12 young men and their adult soccer coach were rescued in a dramatic rescue operation that gripped worldwide attention.
In mid-August, Musk also told the New York Times that operations at troubled Tesla required him to work up to 120 hours a week. Pressure to increase production of the lauded Tesla 3 model and financial concerns have put Musk in a difficult position, while company stockholders have weathered a roller-coaster ride in stock price.
In addition to his duties at Tesla, Musk also founded, owns, and helms aerospace company SpaceX, as well as The Boring Company, which primarily focuses on infrastructure and tunnel construction.
Tesla stock (NASDAQ: TSLA) was down 6.3 percent, at end of day on Friday, at $263.42 per share.