On Thursday, Sept. 6 a new chapter in Tesla’s PR epic began when Elon Musk, the company’s maverick CEO, appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience. Host Rogan imbibed whiskey and smoked a spliff during the two-and-a-half-hour live webcast taping in California. Twenty minutes before the show’s end, Musk partook of a single toke from Rogan’s tobacco-and-cannabis cigar. Media outlets ranging from Forbes to NBC News reported on American overreaction to the toke with headlines that cite a “giant double-standard” regarding cannabis use and “overwrought, hypocritical responses” to Musk’s legal cannabis use—that single on-air inhalation heard around the world.
While Tesla’s share price dropped nearly 18 points to $263.24 by a day after the show, Tesla stock continues to rebound one week later at $290.39. This media coverage-snatching appearance closely follows failed boasts of privatization and the resignations of new chief accounting officer Dave Morton after a month of work and “Chief People Officer” Gaby Toledano after one year with the company.
Beginning Oct. 17, recreational cannabis use will be legal in Canada. According to reporting by the Calgary Herald, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged Canadians who toke to exercise caution when traveling across the border into the United States. Beyond simple possession charges, Canada’s recreational cannabis users and workers and investors in the country’s nascent cannabis industry could face questions at the border that put them at risk for incurring a lifetime ban on American travel.
Legal and cultural clashes seem inevitable as Canada becomes the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis use. As Politico reports, the US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) treats cannabis as a banned substance at the border because of US federal laws; those same laws could define Canadian cannabis industry professionals as drug traffickers subject to being permanently barred from American soil. While 30 US states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that decriminalize and regulate medical or recreational cannabis, the strict, antiquated border prohibition remains. Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Field Operations, told Politico that CBP officials don’t plan to interrogate every Canadian traveler about marijuana use but reasonable suspicion could lead them to bring up the topic.