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After marijuana controversy, could Elon Musk be in trouble with the Air Force?

Listen to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk talk about the Hyperloop concept

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk announces his concept for the Hyperloop, encouraging student teams like the one from Sacramento State University, to pursue their best designs.
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Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk announces his concept for the Hyperloop, encouraging student teams like the one from Sacramento State University, to pursue their best designs.

Silicon Valley billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk faced shareholder backlash and a possible U.S. Air Force investigation on Friday, after he took a drag of what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette during an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast Thursday night.

“You probably can’t (smoke marijuana) because of stockholders, right?” Rogan said, as he lit what appeared to be a joint on camera.

“I mean, it’s legal right?” Musk said, as he took a puff.

Now, as the smoke clears, Musk’s electric car company finds itself facing dire straits.

Shares for Tesla Inc. fell more than 6 percent Friday as the Thursday night podcast clip went viral, according to The Associated Press.

But now another of Musk’s ventures could be feeling the heat.

Musk also serves as CEO of SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer that is a contractor for the U.S. Air Force.

Fox Business Network’s Charlie Gasparino tweeted Friday that the Air Force “is looking into Elon Musk’s pot-smoking,” which is prohibited by anyone who has a government security clearance.

The puff heard around the world wasn’t the only highlight from Musk’s podcast experience. The PayPal co-founder also was seen sipping whiskey and holding a samurai sword.

The appearance prompted Wall Street adviser Jim Cramer to question whether Musk was still a visionary.

“We have to question his stability,” Cramer said, according to The Street.

Musk in recent days also renewed a feud with a British cave diver, Vernon Unsworth, who was involved in the rescue of 12 boys trapped in an underwater cave in Thailand this summer, according to the BBC.

When Unsworth called Musk’s proposed mini-submarine a PR stunt, Musk responded by calling Unsworth a pedophile on Twitter. While Musk deleted the original tweets, BBC News reports Musk appeared to renew the allegation in an Aug. 28 tweet.

Tesla on Friday also saw the recent departure of its chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, and its head of human resources, Gabrielle Toledano, according to The Verge.

Morton was quoted in The Verge as saying, “the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations.”

Morton had been at the company for just over a month.

Not everybody is mad at Musk.

Many took to Twitter on Friday to condemn the outrage and media coverage about the incident.

And some, in true Twitter fashion, used the occasion for sarcasm.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7934, @andrewsheeler
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