Elon Musk suggests his prescription ketamine use is good for investors

In a new interview, Elon Musk said prescription ketamine has been helpful in treating his occasional depressive episodes and suggested that taking the drug has been beneficial for investors in his companies.

Musk, speaking with former CNN anchor Don Lemon in an interview that was posted online Monday, claimed that he takes a “small amount once every other week” — sometimes less frequently — to treat what he described as “chemical tides” that can cause his depression.

“Ketamine is helpful for getting one out of a negative frame of mind,” the Tesla and SpaceX chief executive told Lemon.

Musk was asked by Lemon whether ketamine could “get in the way” of his government contracts and his standing on Wall Street. Musk said no, then echoed language he has used in the past to explain his drug use.

“From the standpoint of Wall Street, what matters is execution,” the technology mogul said. “Are you building value for investors?” He then went on to tout Tesla’s valuation and sales. “From an investor standpoint, he said, “if there is something I’m taking, I should keep taking it.”

Musk added that he originally mentioned his prescription ketamine use on X “because I thought, maybe this is something that could help other people.”

The video of the exchange was posted five days after Lemon announced that Musk had canceled his deal for a new talk show on X just hours after a “testy” interview at Tesla headquarters in Austin, Texas. 

X’s verified corporate account confirmed that the company had decided it would not “enter into a commercial partnership” with Lemon’s show, but that the former CNN anchor was still welcome to publish his content on the social media service.

Lemon was fired from CNN last April. X said in January that it had made a deal with him as part of what the company billed as a push to expand video offerings. The platform also teamed up with former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and sports radio host Jim Rome.

Musk’s use of ketamine was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. In one article on the topic, the newspaper reported that some Tesla and SpaceX executives were concerned about the billionaire tycoon’s use of drugs. 

Lemon asked Musk whether he ever “abuses” ketamine, which the billionaire said he is taking under a doctor’s supervision. Musk replied: “I don’t think so. If you use too much ketamine, you can’t really get work done, and I have a lot of work.”

Musk’s comments about ketamine are notable, in part, because he has previously cast aspersions on other drugs that are used to treat depression. 

In a tweet in April 2022, for example, Musk said he believes that the prescription antidepressant Wellbutrin should be “taken off the market.” In response to that post, health care professionals defended the drug’s effectiveness and safety.

In recent years, ketamine — a powerful anesthetic — has drawn more attention as a potential treatment for people seeking alternative therapies for depression, anxiety and other conditions.

The drug was recently linked to the death of “Friends” actor Matthew Perry, who died of the “acute effects of ketamine,” according to an autopsy report.

In a short introduction to the Musk interview, Lemon said that he did not know exactly why Musk had decided to scrap their deal. “I challenge you, Elon, to watch the whole interview and tell the world why this isn’t what you claim you want on X,” Lemon said, alluding to Musk’s stated desire to turn X into an arena for free speech.

Lemon also posted the first episode of “The Don Lemon Show” on YouTube, and said that he plans to release future installments on platforms such as Spotify, iHeartRadio and “just about any place you stream content.”

In a post on X last week, Musk said that Lemon “lacked authenticity” and that “his approach was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media.’”

Musk’s interview with Lemon was contentious at times. Musk appeared to bristle when Lemon first brought up ketamine, saying: “It’s pretty private to ask somebody about a medical prescription.”

The interview touched on other hot-button topics, including Musk’s recent meeting with former President Donald Trump and the proliferation of hate speech on X, which Musk acquired in October 2022 when the platform was still known as Twitter.

In a follow-up interview with NBC News’ Chloe Melas, Lemon described Musk’s demeanor during the interview as “a little cold,” adding that he seemed to become increasingly “uncomfortable” as it went along. 

He said “The Don Lemon Show” would air three days a week and tackle “whatever’s in the zeitgeist.” He and his team are looking for new media partners, but he did not provide specifics on those conversations.

He added that he expects X to live up to its end of their deal. But if the company doesn’t, he said, “then of course we’ll have to take legal action, but I’m not sure we’re at that point yet.”

First appeared on www.nbcnews.com

Leave a Comment