Elon Musk Opens Up About Drug Use, Claims It Helps Him In Running Tesla

Elon Musk said that he does not think drug usage will impact his companies, government contracts or investor relations.

Elon Musk Opens Up About Drug Use, Claims It Helps Him In Running Tesla

The billionaire believes that his depression is genetic.

Billionaire Elon Musk's use of psychedelic drugs like ketamine to treat depression made news a few weeks ago. However, reports stated that several board members at Tesla and SpaceX developed concerns over his use of drugs, which could have major consequences for his health and for the vast business empire he oversees. Now, the billionaire has addressed the use of ketamine, stating that it has helped him lead the company, as per a report in CNN.

The Tesla CEO's comment was made in an interview with journalist Don Lemon. "There are times when I have sort of a... negative chemical state in my brain, like depression I guess, or depression that's not linked to any negative news, and ketamine is helpful for getting one out of the negative frame of mind," he told Mr Lemon. 

Mr Musk continued, saying he uses the medication in "a small amount once every other week or something like that" and that he had a prescription for it from "an actual, real doctor". "If you use too much ketamine, you can't really get work done, and I have a lot of work. I'm typically putting in 16-hour days... so I don't really have a situation where I can be not mentally acute for an extended period of time," he said.

Mr Musk said he doesn't drink and doesn't "know how to smoke pot", but when he stated he is "almost always" sober while publishing late at night, he didn't clarify if he was referring to ketamine or another drug.

The billionaire also stated that he does not think drug usage will impact his government contracts or investor relations. "From a standpoint of Wall Street, what matters is execution. Are you building value for investors? Tesla is worth about as much as the rest of the car industry combined... so from an investor standpoint, if there is something I'm taking, I should keep taking it," he said, adding that he believes his depression is genetic.

As per a report in the Wall Street Journal published in January, people who have observed and others who know the world's second richest person's drug usage claim that he has taken LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and psychedelic mushrooms, frequently at private parties across the world where guests sign nondisclosure agreements or give up their phones to join.

Linda Johnson Rice, a former director at Tesla, became so enraged with the billionaire's erratic behaviour and his drug use that she decided not to run for re-election to the board of the electric vehicle manufacturer in 2019, the report said. However, Mr Musk's attorney, Alex Spiro, said that he is "regularly and randomly drug tested at SpaceX and has never failed a test". 

In 2018, Mr Musk landed in trouble with NASA after he was seen consuming marijuana on the Joe Rogan Show. This raised concerns about the effect of Mr Musk's behaviour on the company and led to random drug tests of SpaceX personnel.

As per US government rules, any form of illegal drug usage would violate corporate regulations at both SpaceX and Tesla, in addition to breaking federal contracts. It would also cast doubt on Mr Musk's leadership role at the publicly listed Tesla, where the board is tasked with monitoring management on behalf of shareholders.