Musk defends his ketamine use as beneficial for investors in new video

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) – CEO Elon Musk said his ketamine prescription was beneficial for Tesla’s investors in a video interview with former CNN anchor Don Lemon posted online on Monday.

Musk said the drug helps him manage a “negative chemical state” similar to depression in the interview conducted this month that also touched on politics, content moderation on X and Tesla. 

“From the standpoint of Wall Street, what matters is execution,” said Musk, who runs the automaker, the rocket company SpaceX and the social media platform X. Musk argued Tesla was worth as much as the rest of the car industry combined.

“For investors, if there’s something I’m taking, I should keep taking it.”

A Wall Street Journal investigation published in January said Musk had used drugs including LSD, cocaine, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms, worrying executives and board members at his companies. 

The report raised concerns that illegal drug use would likely be a violation of federal policies that could jeopardize SpaceX’s government contracts.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that one Tesla director grew so frustrated with Musk’s behavior that she did not stand for re-election to the board in 2019.

Musk responded to the Journal report on X in January, saying that he agreed to three years of random drug testing at the request of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which partners with SpaceX. “Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol,” Musk said. 

Musk told Lemon that he had a doctor’s prescription for ketamine. The billionaire estimated he took “a small amount every other week.”

His comments were in response to Lemon asking what Musk’s ketamine prescription was intended for, and if he ever worried “that this may get in the way of your government contracts and clearances and Wall Street as well.”

Lemon posted the interview on YouTube and X, after he said last week that Musk canceled an exclusive partnership that “The Don Lemon Show” had with X.

Lemon was set to have three 30-minute episodes per week on X. “His approach was basically just CNN, but on social media, which doesn’t work,” Musk posted on X.

Musk did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Howard Goller)