Elon Musk Lights Up Twitter After Saying Prison for Pot “Doesn’t Make Sense”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO got into some hot bong water a couple years ago for blazing live on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Now, Musk is tweeting about the hypocrisy of having a legal cannabis industry while drug offenders are still in prison.
Published on June 8, 2020

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A pro-social-justice-for-pot tweet written by Elon Musk last week incited applause — and clapbacks — from all corners of the internet. 

Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, began the two-part tweet by teasing, “This will probably get me into trouble, but I feel I have to say it.”

He continued, “Selling weed literally went from major felony to essential business (open during pandemic) in much of America & yet many are still in prison. Doesn’t make sense, isn’t right.”

Although the US government still erroneously considers cannabis a drug as dangerous as heroin, 33 states now permit cannabis for medicinal or recreational use. At the end of March, all US states with regulated recreational weed programs deemed cannabis sales as “essential” during the COVID-19 lockdowns. While most weed-legal states forced many “non-essential” businesses to close at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, essential businesses such as hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gun stores, liquor stores, and — yes — pot shops were allowed to remain open. 

Only one state with recreational pot, Massachusetts, forced its adult-use cannabis retailers to close during its lockdowns. Massachusetts’ retailers reopened as of two weeks ago. 

On Sunday, Joe Rogan, who has interviewed Musk multiple times on his live video podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, gave his full support to the Tesla CEO via Instagram. 

“Elon is right,” Rogan wrote.

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Elon is right.

A post shared by Joe Rogan (@joerogan) on

In 2018, Musk (in)famously got lit on Rogan’s podcast, hitting a blunt then slipping into a stream-of-consciousness ramble on climate change and space pioneering. The blunt stunt scored Musk some cred with the cannabis community, but it also caused Tesla’s stock price to drop, and it led to a federal safety investigation into SpaceX that cost NASA $5 million. High Times dubbed the Rogan smoke sesh “the most expensive blunt of all time.”

Musk’s latest weed tweet also prompted prominent members of the American and Canadian regulated cannabis industries to request that Musk take the good fight from Twitter into the real-world legal arena.

“@elonmusk please support the @lastprisonerprj which aims to release every nonviolent cannabis prisoner and repair the harms of prohibition,” tweeted Steve DeAngelo, the founder of Harborside, a California cannabis dispensary chain. He’s also a co-founder of The Last Prisoner Project.

Jodie Emery, a pot entrepreneur and activist in Canada, also asked Musk to use his influence to help free cannabis convicts.

“Thank You for saying this, Elon,” Emery tweeted. “Please support the Last Prisoner Project  @lastprisonerprj in the USA! And beyond your borders, please support the @CannabisAmnesty campaign in Canada!”

“Cannabis prohibition was a racist police tactic invented by Harry J. Ansligner in the 1930s, and old Ansligner did not stop until he got the United Nations to include cannabis on the list of international controlled substances in the 1960s,” Andrew DeAngelo, brother of Steve DeAngelo and another founder at The Last Prisoner Project, wrote to MERRY JANE in a recent email unrelated to Elon Musk. “Cannabis prohibition never had anything to do with the plant, but had everything to do with the people who used the plant. Old Ansligner has been dead for almost 50 years, and we're still dealing with his legacy.”

While several folks praised Musk for taking a stance against the immoral imprisonment of nonviolent cannabis offenders, other Twitter users took a more confrontational approach.

“Well said,” wrote one Twitter user. “Put your money where your mouth is and #bail them out.”

Others criticized Musk for stating an opinion that’s been around for as long as there have been legal weed sales.

“This won’t get you into any trouble because it’s an obvious, boring take that tens of thousands of other people have already suggested,” read one tweet.

Another tweet reiterated, “elon literally everyone thinks this, why are you like this dude”

Still other tweeters were simply disappointed that Musk’s second tweet didn’t live up to the hype of its prelude.

If anything, the random internet haters’ energy would be better spent demanding why other famous business leaders haven’t thrown their weight behind ending the War on Drugs. (We’re looking at you, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg.)

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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