High there: Reaction to Elon Musk smoking pot is snarky, blunt

Tesla founder's single legal puff set Twitter jokesters on fire.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

Elon Musk, shown at SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod Competition in July, said of his puff, "I don't actually notice any effect."

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

It was the single puff felt 'round the world.

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk took one puff of a marijuana cigarette Thursday on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience. The podcast was two and a half hours long, but social media quickly focused on the brief second of smoking. Recreational marijuana is legal in DC and nine US states, including California, where the podcast was recorded, but is still illegal at the federal level.

Musk didn't exactly go full Spicoli with his lone puff, saying "I don't actually notice any effect," and "I don't find that it is very good for productivity." It's not clear if the toke played any role in Tesla stock taking a hit Friday after both the company's chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, and its head of human resources, Gabrielle Toledano, announced they're leaving the electric carmaker.

Many people on social media found comic value in a billionaire CEO pulling a Big Lebowski.

Some saw Musk's smoke break as a way to make a more serious point.

The Musk story took another turn later on Friday, when Charles Gasparino of Fox Business Network reported that a source said the US Air Force was looking into Musk's brief smoke. 

"SpaceX is a government contractor and marijuana use is prohibited for people with government security clearance," Gasparino tweeted. An Air Force source also confirmed the news to CNBC, though Reuters said an Air Force representative had called the reports inaccurate.

Some thought the Air Force's involvement was going too far, but others disagreed.

And at least one Twitter user suggested President Trump's proposed future branch of the military might have something to say about this, tweeting, "Just wait until the Space Force comes after him."

First published Sept. 7, 12:57 p.m. PT.  
Updated at 3:51 p.m. PT: Adds Twitter response to news of Air Force looking into Musk's smoking.