NASA will embark next year on a months-long investigation into SpaceX and Boeing to "ensure the companies are meeting NASA's requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment." Those final words are key. Though a safety review of companies enlisted to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station next year seems expected, three officials with knowledge of the probe tell the Washington Post it was launched in response to Elon Musk's legal weed toke on Joe Rogan's podcast in September. The behavior, coming amid other Musk-related scandals, "rankled" NASA officials, per the Post, which quotes NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine: "Culture and leadership start at the top. Anything that would result in some questioning the culture of safety, we need to fix immediately."
"If I see something that's inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that," Bridenstine adds, noting he has "a lot of confidence in the SpaceX team." SpaceX says it "actively promotes workplace safety, and we are confident that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements." A NASA rep says the investigation will involve hundreds of interviews examining "anything that could impact safety." The US Air Force is already investigating Musk's puff on a marijuana-tobacco joint, per CNBC, which notes "marijuana use is prohibited for someone with a government security clearance, which Musk may have because of the contracts SpaceX has with the Air Force." (Musk has lately run into trouble in the tequila business.)