The US Department of Defense is reviewing Elon Musk’s security clearance. The Tesla CEO smoked a marijuana cigarette during a show. Thus the Pentagon is reviewing Musk’s secret security clearance following his public use of illegal drugs on a California comedian’s podcast. According to the officials, the incident took place last September. Soon after the marijuana event, the Pentagon initiated an incident report. Musk has a government security clearance because his aerospace company, SpaceX assists the U.S. government to launch satellites. A Pentagon representative said due to privacy and security reasons; they cannot discuss secret clearance status openly.
The people having federal government security clearances and have access to classified data cannot smoke pot. As SpaceX owns government contract from the U.S. Air Force and launches governmental payloads into space, Musk received such clearance. Thus the SpaceX CEO has refiled his SF-86 security form. The application needs a federal employee or tenderer to ask for approval to acknowledge any illegal drug use over the past seven years. The review has not affected SpaceX’s operations or its ties with the government. The company gained deals for national security space launches since September. It also includes one of the three starts on 19th Feb worth $297 million.
On the other hand, the news about the federal officials’ concern got viral on social media, and many users mocked reports. Recreational use of marijuana is legal in 10 states including Washington, DC. But in accordant with the federal law, the use remains illegal. Mark Zaid is a lawyer who usually represents federal employees or tenderers who have had their clearance revoked. He said federal officials might proceed to appeal Musk’s position, and it’s not a surprising thing for the attorney. The lawyer has represented many clients, as well as government contractors. But those people lost their approval status because minimal use of marijuana is also a federal crime. According to Zaid, if Musk’s security clearance application is under adjudication review, it could take many months to reach the judgment.