Elon Musk criticized Joe Biden’s ongoing campaign to release Brittney Griner, a WNBA player, from a Russian jail while thousands of people are incarcerated in the US for the same crime.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for marijuana possession, and Musk pointed out that people imprisoned on American soil aren’t getting the same attention from the White House.
“If the president is working so hard to free someone who is in jail in Russia for some weed, shouldn’t we free people in America?” asked Elon Musk on “Full Send” podcast this week.
“There are people in jail in America for the same stuff. Shouldn’t we free them too? My opinion is that people should not be in jail for non-violent drug crimes.”
Biden said his administration is “working hard” and is “hopeful” to restart talks between Griner and Russia. His team has considered the idea of swapping Griner for infamous arms merchant Viktor Grout — also known as the “Merchant of Death.”
Marijuana is still against the law at the federal level, but it is lawful for recreational use in 19 states and has been decriminalized in 18 others.
Griner pled guilty last month to having a small amount of cannabis oil when she was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February. She was convicted of cannabis possession and drug smuggling and was sentenced to nine years in prison with a penalty of around $16,200.
According to an ACLU study, there were almost 700,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2018 — the most recent year for which data is available. That figure accounts for 43.2% of all drug arrests, considerably more than any other drug and much more than all violent crime combined, according to the report.
Elon Musk has said that he does not use marijuana on a regular basis, suggesting that it’s “not that good for productivity.”
But the world’s wealthiest person has also recently stated that he and his staff at SpaceX were compelled to take drugs tests for a whole year following Musk’s viral, marijuana-fueled appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2018.
During his interview with Rogan four years ago, filmed in California, where marijuana was legal at the time, he declared that he needed to demonstrate to the government that he wasn’t an addict after taking “one puff” during his session.
“I did get a lot of backlash because it’s still federally illegal,” he stated.
“SpaceX has federal government contracts, so our competitors were like ‘Why aren’t you doing anything? Look at him brazenly smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast,’” Musk stated.
Tesla shares tumbled 9% after the bombshell puff, briefly causing Tesla to resemble a so-called “fearless” company. Musk stated that he was not an addict and apologized for the stock decline, which he said was due to market volatility.