Elon Musk Speaks Out Against Cannabis Convictions
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It all started with a bizarre, teasing tweet on June 6th, when billionaire Elon Musk told his 35 million Twitter followers: "This will probably get me into trouble, but I feel I have to say it."
This will probably get me into trouble, but I feel I have to say it— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 6, 2020
Musk has been the target of much controversy in recent months, claiming his company Tesla's stock price were too high, calling shelter-in-place orders "fascist," and calling the panic over the pandemic "dumb." All of these proclamations have come via his Twitter feed, so when Musk again turned to the platform to warn that he might be stepping in it again, the Twitterverse wondered what he would say this time.
Related: Elon Musk Smokes Pot!
Speculation was rampant. Will he announce the invention of wireless seatbelts? Are Tesla stockholders about to have another nervous breakdown? Will he be saying something about the Black Lives Matter movement?
No to all of the above. Turns out his big revelation the next day was perhaps the most sensical thing Musk has said in the last few months.
Selling weed literally went from major felony to essential business (open during pandemic) in much of America & yet many are still in prison. Doesn’t make sense, isn’t right.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 6, 2020
Musk became another critic of the antiquated and unjust penal system that incarcerates innocent people for non-violent cannabis crimes. Far from getting him in trouble, his tweet evoked a plethora of praise.
The Godfather of Cannabis, Stephen DeAngelo tweeted that Musk should consider supporting The Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to releasing, expunging and helping reentry of people in prison for cannabis crimes.
Podcast host and cannabis advocate Joe Rogan tweeted "Elon is right"
Elon is right. https://t.co/YGctHfFiyb— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 6, 2020
This was particularly notable because it was on Rogan's show that Musk was photographed smoking weed—a move that caused NASA to declare that it was "not appropriate behavior."
Despite Musk's disclaimer, his opinion about the unfairness of marijuana dealers languishing in prison, is actually in the mainstream. How else can you explain the over 675,000 people who liked his tweet, or a 2019 survey by Quinnipiac University that found 63 percent of Americans believed people should have their records cleared for low-level cannabis offenses.
Unfortunately, it is politicians who are once again lagging behind the rest of America with prohibitionist views on cannabis and those who use it. Once can only hope that Musk puts his money and sizeable influence where his Twitter is and supports causes that bring justice to those falsely accused.
If he can put a man in space, as his company Space X did just last week, certainly he can get one out of prison for a minor offense.