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What's a CEO to do when investigators, insiders, and others are calling for his head on a platter?
Smoke a joint, right? Wrong. Sometimes, general counsel just have to tell the boss no.
Using marijuana on personal time is a person's prerogative, but not if your name is Elon Musk. For everybody else, there's good news and bad news.
The Bad News
Musk made the mistake of toking a spliff on "The Joe Rogan Experience." It was a mistake because Tesla's stock took a dive.
Add to that, the company's chief accounting officer quit (which, to be fair, is likely the actual reason for the stock taking a dive). He had been there for a month, but did not like the "public attention and the fast pace."
Corporate counsel will have to do some clean up, including concerns that Musk may have violated the company's code of business conduct and ethics. It prohibits employees reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
For his part on the Rogan podcast, Musk was also drinking whiskey. Technically, however, he was not reporting for work.
The Good News
There is a silver lining to the smokey cloud for employees, however. Musk may have liberalized the company policy on marijuana.
He told the Guardian that Tesla policy "allows trace amounts of THC [an ingredient of cannabis] during work times, provided they are below the safety limit (much like a minimum alcohol level)."
In the meantime, Musk is dealing with other consequences of his public behavior. Last month, he got into trouble after he tweeted that he was "considering taking Tesla private."
The announcement drove up stock prices, but it may have been artificial. The Securities and Exchange Commissions is investigating it.