It turns out the Air Force isn’t quite sure what to make of Elon Musk’s pot smoking either.
No, the military hasn’t launched a formal investigation into the SpaceX CEO. But it is trying to figure out how to respond to Musk’s latest antics.
After setting the internet ablaze following an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which featured Musk taking a single hit off a spliff, questions have been swirling about whether or not said hit would have any negative consequences for the man or his businesses.
These questions kicked into high gear Friday, when a Fox Business reporter tweeted that the Air Force was looking into Musk’s actions, potentially putting his government security clearance at risk. The Air Force later clarified that while it’s evaluating the situation, there is not, in fact, an investigation.
“It’s inaccurate that there is an investigation. We’ll need time to determine the facts and the appropriate process to handle the situation,” a spokesperson told The Verge.
Pretty much everything Musk says or does makes headlines, so it’s not surprising that his momentary joint-smoking on Rogan’s podcast is quickly turning into its own news cycle, too. Despite the fact marijuana is legal in California, and that all the pot-shaming really isn’t cool anyway, Musk’s actions could have serious implications for SpaceX — at least in theory.
That’s because SpaceX has contracts with the U.S. Air Force, which has markedly different stance on marijuana than Musk. As others have pointed out, people with security clearances are prohibited from using marijuana; partaking in any way could lose you your clearance. Which brings us back to Musk.
The fact that the SpaceX CEO openly smoked while on Rogan’s show could potentially create problems for the company’s government contracts, the thinking goes.
Of course, the Air Force hasn’t actually said anything of the sort yet. It’s only confirmed that it’s aware of the situation and attempting to figure out a response. Regardless, it seems this could turn into yet another major buzzkill for Musk.