11 Deep Thoughts From Elon Musk’s Talk With Joe Rogan

Published on September 7, 2018 · Last updated January 12, 2022
NASA’s chief said the agency will be investigating their contractor SpaceX — founded by Elon Musk— for adherence to drug-free workplace contracts. (Joe Rogan Experience/YouTube)

Well, many of us know what we’re doing after work today: packing a bowl, kicking back, and watching Elon Musk hit the blunt and talk space-faring, Mars, and alternate realities with Joe Rogan and his 30 million listeners.Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?The embattled billionaire—founder of PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX—sat down earlier this week for a relaxed, funny, wide-ranging two-and-a-half-hour interview on the Joe Rogan podcast, which went live on Friday.

The mainstream media has gone crazy over Musk’s tokin’ appearance. The Wall Street Journal led with the story on its mobile platform this morning. The New York Times hit it in its Dealbook brief. Twitter is aflame with hot takes. In the morning, Tesla’s chief of accounting, hired only a few weeks ago, announced his departure. Hours into the trading day, Tesla’s stock had fallen nearly 10 percent.

America, chill. What, two people can’t talk politely while having a delightful, thoughtful session anymore? I’ve watched the entire thing and I’d rather do that again than hang out on Twitter. Here are 11 dab-worthy thoughts from the Musk-Rogan encounter.

Cannabis Will Be Legal on Mars

Musk agreed it would be great if Mars colonization left Earth’s drug prohibitions behind. Rogan suggests Mars could become a “big Jamaica.”

“That would be great,” Musk replies.

Cannabis ‘Is Like a Cup of Coffee in Reverse’

About two hours into the chat, Rogan, an avid cannabis consumer, pulls out a blunt—cannabis wrapped in tobacco. Musk puffs it like a cigar, not holding the smoke in.

He didn’t inhale.

“I know a lot of people like weed and that’s fine, but I don’t find that it’s very good for productivity,” Musk says. “It’s more like a cup of coffee in reverse. … I like to get things done. I like to be useful. Doing something useful for other people. That’s [what] I like doing.”

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If Alcohol Were Brand New, It Would Be Illegal

“Alcohol is a drug,” Musk notes. “It’s just been grandfathered in.”

Elon Is an Alien, or That Guy From the Movie Powder

“It’s true,” Musk tells Rogan. “I might have some mutation like that.”

“It’s just constant ideas bouncing around your head?” Rogan asks.

“All the time. … When I was 5 or 6, I thought I was insane. It was like, hmm, that’s strange. … I hoped they wouldn’t find out ‘cus they might put me away or something.”

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At another point Musk says, “I think a lot of people don’t like humanity and see it as a blight. But I do not.”

‘When Does the Sun Boil the Oceans?’

“About 500 million years,” Musk says. “A future confined to Earth would be sad. … We can be a multi-planet species. We can go to the moon, Mars, the moons of Saturn. We can go to Pluto.”

Don’t Kick Robots

“Probably not wise,” says Musk. One day they’ll be faster than you can see and they have great memories. Musk, who has warned humanity about artificial intelligence, says he worries less about it now, because he’s given up hope of changing things. “[AI] will be used as a weapon. The danger is humans using it against each other.”

Google and All Its Users Are ‘One Giant Cybernetic Collective’

“We’re all collectively programming the AI. … It’s our id writ large. It’s all the things we like, hate and fear — they’re all there on the internet — a projection of our limbic system.”

Wristwatches Are Amazing

“It’s kind of amazing you can keep time mechanically on a wristwatch with these tiny little gears,” Musk said.

Tesla Sold 20,000 Flamethrowers in Four Days

Musk also sold 50,000 Boring Company hats. “They went fast.” He got the idea for the flamethrower from his favorite movie, Spaceballs.

Social Media Activity Is Like a Tattoo

“It’s on your permanent record,” says Musk. Also, “it’s way easier to be mean on social media than it is in person.”

Maybe Love Is the Answer

“Spend more time with your friends and less time on social media,” he advises Rogan. You’ll get a 10 percent happiness boost by deleting social media apps from your phone. “I think people should be nicer to others and give more credit to others. Don’t assume they’re mean until they’re actually mean. It’s easy to demonize people. You’re usually wrong about it. People are nicer than you think. Give people more credit.”

Have a great weekend, ya’ll.

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David Downs
David Downs
Leafly Senior Editor David Downs is the former Cannabis Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's appeared on The Today Show, and written for Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, High Times, and many more outlets. He is a 2023 judge for The Emerald Cup, and has covered weed since 2009.
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