Why Elon Musk Is Still Apologizing for Smoking Weed With Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan is notorious for never backing down from the controversial. The former host of Fear Factor certainly never stood down from any of his episodes, and the same attitude prevails to this day. While Rogan may walk to the beat of his own drum, it seems Elon Musk is chained down by more conventional mores. 

Fans of either Musk or Rogan may recall that Musk smoked a spliff with Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience. For those not in the know, that’s a mix of marijuana and tobacco, rolled up. However, that was in September of 2018 — over a year ago. Unfortunately, Musk is still dealing with the repercussions and has since made an apology for his actions. Here’s what went down.

What went down on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’

During a 2018 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appeared to discuss a bevy of topics. At one point after chatting for an extended duration, Joe Rogan offered Elon Musk his spliff.

Elon Musk checked in with Joe Rogan before hitting the spliff, making sure it was legal. “Totally legal,” confirmed Rogan as Musk eyed the spliff in his hand. 

“How does that work?” asked Rogan. “Do people get upset with you if you do certain things?” Talk about foreshadowing from Rogan. Rogan then clarified, “There’s tobacco and marijuana in there. That’s all it is.” 

Musk proceeded to take a drag on the spliff, before seemingly exhaling the smoke without drawing it into his lungs. “The combination of tobacco and marijuana is wonderful,” opined Rogan as Musk made a wry face.

“Uh, I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” explained Musk.”I don’t actually notice any effect. You know, I know a lot of people like weed, and that’s fine. But I don’t find that it is very good for productivity.”

Musk then added, “Alcohol is a drug, it’s just been grandfathered in.”

NASA performs a safety review

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan | Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

Unfortunately for Elon Musk, not everyone was thrilled to see him lighting up with Joe Rogan. In fact, it wasn’t long after the episode aired that NASA decided it was time to review SpaceX’s safety standards. It was rumored that Musk’s behavior on The Joe Rogan Experience is what ignited the safety review.

NASA spokesperson Bob Jacobs refused to specify what actually started the review, but he did say that the goal is to “ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “If I see something that’s inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that. As an agency, we’re not just leading ourselves, but our contractors, as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe.

Elon Musk apologizes 

Elon Musk
Elon Musk | Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Even now, Elon Musk is still dealing with the fallout of the legendary spliff. In fact, he just recently apologized for smoking weed with Joe Rogan, over a year after the incident took place. 

The Washington Post obtained an internal e-mail sent to SpaceX employees by Musk. Musk addressed the incident in which he says he smoked marijuana “with no skill, obviously,” and that his choice to do so with Rogan was “not wise.”

Musk additionally wrote, “SpaceX personnel may not use or posses any controlled substance while in the workplace, and also may not be under the influence of legal or illegal drugs while at work. Anyone who appears to be inebriated or under the influence while at work is subject to drug testing and potentially other employment actions.”