Tesla CEO dismisses suggestion his drug use could influence the perceptions of investors.

Elon Musk has defended taking ketamine to treat his “negative frame of mind,” suggesting that his prescribed use of the drug benefitted Tesla’s investors.

In an at-times tense interview with former CNN host Don Lemon, Musk said that he finds anaesthetic helpful when he is suffering from a “negative chemical state”.

“There are times when I have… depression that is not linked to any negative news, and then ketamine is helpful for getting one outside out of a negative frame of mind,” Musk said during an interview released on X on Monday.

Asked if he thought he had ever abused the drug, Musk, who owns X and runs Tesla and SpaceX, said he did not think so and that he only takes a “small amount” once every other week or so.

“If you’ve used too much ketamine, you can’t really get work done and I have a lot of work – I am typically putting in 16-hour days. That’s normal for me,” Musk said.

“I can’t really get wasted because I can’t get my work done,” he added.

Musk also dismissed the suggestion that his drug use could affect his government contracts or the perceptions of investors on Wall Street.

“Tesla is worth about as much as the rest of the car industry combined, from nothing. That’s pretty good. We had the best-selling car on Earth last year. So from investors’ standpoint, if there is something I’m taking, I should keep taking it,” he said.

Musk added that he had discussed his ketamine use in the past because he thought it could help other people.

The 52-year-old billionaire also discussed meeting former United States President Donald Trump in March, which he said came about after an impromptu visit by the Republican candidate to his friend’s house.

“President Trump likes to talk. And so we talked. I don’t recall him saying anything that he hasn’t publicly,” Musk said, adding that Trump had not requested a political donation or other financial support.

Musk said he may endorse a candidate for November’s presidential election in the “final stretch” but had not yet made up his mind.

The South African-born naturalised US citizen said he was not leaning towards a candidate but was “leaning away” from US President Joe Biden.

X announced a content partnership with Lemon in January but Musk abruptly cancelled “The Don Lemon Show” last week ahead of the airing of the first episode.

Lemon, whose interview with Musk included a tense exchange on the issue of hate speech on X, said the Tesla CEO’s stated commitment to free speech “seems not to include questions of him from people like me”.

Musk said later on X that Lemon’s approach was “basically just ‘CNN, but on social media’” and “lacked authenticity”.

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