Musk's US Security Clearance Could Go Up in Pot Smoke

It's being reviewed over marijuana use
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2019 4:55 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2019 5:42 AM CST
In this Jan. 9, 2019 photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is on the verge of scoring a massive success with his Dragon crew capsule—but his pot-smoking could complicate his relationship with the government. Sources tell Bloomberg that the Pentagon is reviewing Musk's security clearance because he was filmed smoking a joint during an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan in September. The podcast was in California, where weed is legal, but it is still illegal under federal law and Musk has had to refile his SF-86 security form, which requires federal contractors to acknowledge drug use, one official says. Bloomberg's sources say the review is ongoing, with no decision made yet.

Insiders tell Fox that Musk could have his clearance suspended or revoked as a result of the investigation. SpaceX officials say the review, which the US Air Force is believed to have launched soon after the podcast, has had no effect on the company. SpaceX has won contracts for space launches since the podcast aired, including a $297 million February contract for three launches. "Anyone with a security clearance would go through this investigation process in the same way," a source tells CNBC, describing the review and the refiling of security forms as "normal." (NASA is also reportedly reviewing Musk's drug use.)

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