Did Elon Musk Just Say We Need to Legalize Weed?

The tech-entrepreneur and real-life Tony Stark sent out a tweet hinting at his support for cannabis legalization and criminal record expungement.

Ranked at number 21 on Forbes' list of the most powerful people, Elon Musk is seen by many as one of the few visionaries of the 21st century. Having made his reputation after founding PayPal and X.com, the South African entrepreneur has since gone on to pursue enormous projects such as "helping humanity" through his current companies SpaceX, Neuralink and Tesla.

Due to Musk's ambitious nature and entrepreneurial talents, he has been labelled by many, the "real-life Tony Stark," as he draws parallels between the famous Marvel box-office hit Iron Man. The renowned Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson even went as far to call Elon the "most important person alive today."

Needless to say, when Elon Musk says something, people listen.

This is why it's become a big deal that Musk recently tweeted out his thoughts with regards to the cannabis industry, and how quickly it's changed in recent years.

Last Saturday the Tesla CEO wrote: "Selling weed literally went from a major felony to essential business (open during a pandemic) in much of America & yet many are still in prison. Doesn't make sense, isn't right."

And as he so often is, the tech-magnate is once again on the money when it comes to cannabis. Fifty years ago, cannabis was deemed "public enemy number one" by then-President Richard Nixon, and while we have made tremendous strides with regards to the cannabis industry, many people still remain imprisoned as a result of the War on Drugs.

This is, as Musk correctly points out, despite the fact that the cannabis industry was deemed "essential" amid the COVID-19 closures, and that the cannabis industry has consistently been one of America's biggest job creators since legalization.

Whether or not Musk's tweet will amount to legislative action remains uncertain, though the tweet has close to 700,000 likes, so it's safe to say a conversation has been started at the very least.

Elon Musk Sparks a Spliff on Joe Rogan's Podcast

As left-field as it may seem to some, Elon's recent pro-cannabis tweet wasn't his first foray into the cannabis space. In fact, a year ago, Elon attracted quite a bit of controversy after smoking a joint on Joe Rogan's podcast. The podcast amassed over 35 million views and was seen either as yet another confirmation that Elon Musk is a legend, or as the inevitable demise of his companies.

Tesla's stock prices plummeted, and two CEO's quit working for the company once the pot-fuelled podcast became widespread. Though within a week, TSLA's shares were back up to normal price and evidently, people slowly stopped caring about Musk's use of cannabis on the show.

Nonetheless, it's comforting that Musk would dare to speak on cannabis again after the previous backlash he faced, especially when he is so on the money about this issue. Not only was the cannabis industry a real source of strength for the U.S. economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but also, when stores were looted last week during the riots occurring throughout the country, we were reminded yet again why cannabis dispensaries need to be able to store their funds in banks.

One can only hope that Elon's endorsement of the industry has sparked a loud enough conversation to encourage some real change in the coming months with regard to the cannabis industry.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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