In a recent podcast episode, Elon Musk, in typical fashion, broadly covers topics as disparate as SpaceX, marijuana, the Russian war, and everything in between. The podcast (known as the Full Send Podcast) has already received nearly 10 million views on YouTube, immediately showing its success. Let’s break down a segment in the podcast where Elon rebukes United States drug policy, specifically in relation to events in Russia. Here’s what you need to know!

What hypocrisy is Elon Musk referring to?

During the podcast episode, the conversation gets brought around to Elon’s inhibitions about traveling to Russia. Since he has recently been helping out Ukraine (a country Russia is currently invading) with internet access, Elon (wisely) recognizes that he probably wouldn’t be all that welcomed by Putin. At the same time, however, other world events in Russia were also brought up, specifically events surrounding the Russian arrest of an American athlete on “drug smuggling charges”.

Drug policy hypocrisy in the US
Britney Griner, who was recently sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for smuggling drugs into Russia.

Brittney Griner, an American basketball player, had recently gone to Russia to play for the women’s basketball team, UMMC Ekaterinburg. During her travels, she was arrested and charged with smuggling narcotics into Russia from America. The drugs in question, THC (marijuana) vape cartridges, are illegal in Russia and prompter her arrest.

When news of the events broke, the United States began enacting plans, hoping to get Griner back on American soil. Despite marijuana being federally illegal in the United States, the government was extremely vocal and active in trying to get Griner out of jail and back home.

In the podcast, Musk criticized the federal government for trying so hard to get someone out of jail for marijuana when domestically, there are people currently serving life sentences over the same charges.

Essentially, there seemed to be a double standard that was predicated on someone’s social standing, not their crimes. Why not try to get Americans out of American prisons serving time for identical or even lesser charges?

What happened with Elon Musk on the Joe Rogan Podcast?

As the conversation around Griner concluded, Musk’s own public interactions with weed were brought up. Back in September 2018, Musk joined Joe Rogan on the largest podcast in the world for a conversation. During the talk, Rogan passed Musk a joint and offered him a hit. With a shoulder shrug, Musk caused an internet firestorm and took a hit, albeit only once.

Within days, Tesla, SpaceX, and pretty much anything else that Musk had a hand in began tanking. Stockholders publically decried him, and board members sought to have him removed, despite Musk being in California at the time (where weed is totally legal). His companies have since recovered, but the infamous joint was a watershed moment for the rising star that we all know today.

Does Elon regret smoking weed with Joe Rogan?

Part of the reason that the joint was such a big deal, despite it being legal, was because Musk’s company, SpaceX, has government contracts that require strict adherence to drug policy. Although it was legal in California, weed is still federally illegal and outlawed for any federal employee or contractor. As a result, Musk had to undergo a year of random drug tests to ensure he wasn’t a security threat to the United States government.

Does Elon regret smoking weed on the Joe Rogan Podcast? Here’s what he said:

“I didn’t think I’d get that much backlash, but the consequences, for me and for SpaceX, were actually not good. Because it’s federally illegal and SpaceX has federal contracts, you know, so, unfortunately, it wasn’t just me it was the whole company who had to have random drug tests. So I was like, ‘sorry guys’.”

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