Elon Musk smokes a blunt live on YouTube

Then two of Tesla’s top executives quit, and the stock dropped.

Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk apparently smoked dope with comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan live on YouTube late Thursday night, then giggled at Rogan’s joke about turning Mars into “a big Jamaica.”

“I mean, it’s legal, right?” Musk said, accepting a lit blunt from Rogan in the Los Angeles studio where “The Joe Rogan Experience” is webcast live. Rogan told Musk he’d rolled marijuana in tobacco leaves. Musk took a single deep toke.

If the two were joking about what they were smoking, they didn’t say so.

Tesla investors were in a far less relaxed mood the next morning after seeing news that two of the electric-car maker’s top executives are leaving the company. Tesla stock sank as much as 10 percent before recovering some of those losses. At 11:25 a.m. EDT, shares were down 5.6 percent at $265.11.

Overnight, the Musk-led Tesla disclosed in a regulatory filing that its chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, had resigned Tuesday, just a month after taking the job. And Bloomberg News reported that Tesla’s human resources chief — Gabrielle Toledano, who has been on a leave of absence — said she would not return to the company.

In resigning, Morton cited unexpectedly high scrutiny on Tesla and “the pace within the company” as reasons for his departure. He had joined the automaker just before Musk sparked turmoil by announcing via Twitter that he planned to take the company private. (Musk has since backpedaled on that plan, and he faces multiple shareholder lawsuits and a regulatory investigation.)

On Thursday night, Musk didn’t project concern about any of that. Minutes after he took a drag of what Rogan offered him, the phone in Musk’s pocket began sending out alerts — but not, apparently, about his company.

“I’m getting text messages from friends saying, ‘What are you doing smoking weed?’ ” he said.

“I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” Musk told Rogan. How often do you smoke it? Rogan asked. “Almost never,” said Musk, chairman and chief executive of Tesla and chairman of SpaceX. “I know a lot of people like weed and that’s fine, but I don’t think it’s very good for productivity.”

The two were more than two hours into a conversation fueled by Old Camp whiskey on ice, ranging from expensive cars and watches to the dangers of artificial intelligence, before Rogan pulled out the joint and lit up.

The two then began discussing space travel and the future of human civilization. Rogan suggested they terraform Mars and “turn it into a a big Jamaica.” They both giggled and Musk said, “That would be great.”

Then the talk turned more serious. “If we were forever confined to Earth, that would be sad,” Musk said. Rogan asked him how long the solar system will exist. “If you say when does the sun boil the oceans, about 500 million years.”

The conversation shifted still darker as Musk talked about a “never-ending explosion” of ideas that constantly runs through his brain. “When I was 5 or 6 or something, I thought I was insane,” he said. He compared himself with other children. “It was clear their minds weren’t exploding with ideas all the time.” He said he feared adults would “put him away.”

“I don’t think most people would like to be me,” he said.

Musk later brightened and said, “This may sound corny, but love is the answer. It wouldn’t hurt to have more love in the world.”

“How are you going to fix that?” Rogan asked him. “Do you have a love machine?”

“Probably spend more time with your friends and less time on social media,” Musk said. “I think people should be nicer to each other and give more credit to others and don’t assume they’re mean until they’re actually mean. It’s easy to demonize people.”

The webcast had begun at 9:30 p.m. PDT and drew to a close around 12:15 a.m. Friday.

“I hope I didn’t weird you out and I hope you didn’t get mad that we smoked weed,” Rogan told Musk, wrapping things up.

Musk tossed back a final slug of whiskey and smiled.

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