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The Air Force Should Penalize Elon Musk

The Air Force Should Penalize Elon Musk
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks at a press conference at SpaceX headquarters where he announced the Japanese billionaire chosen by the company to fly around the moon, on September 17, 2018, in Hawthorne, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

George Landrith By Tuesday, 18 September 2018 02:46 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

It’s time for the Air Force to fire Elon Musk — or, at the very least, put his services on suspension.

Not only did Musk smoke marijuana, but he also did so in full public view while sipping whiskey on a nationally-watched podcast.

Talk about a hard day at the office.

Federal Acquisition Regulation says that, except in extreme circumstances, contractors cannot receive any government work if they unlawfully possess or use controlled substances. But that’s not the only issue — Musk also has a high-level security clearance. And he’s using illegal drugs? If you’re a 30-year-old engineer working for a high-tech company on classified projects, you can be fired for using illegal drugs. The same rules should apply to the SpaceX CEO.

Musk should accept the consequences of his actions without hesitation. After all, he does run Tesla, which supposedly fired a single mother for merely using doctor-recommended drops that are known to make users test positive for THC.

This bold corporate move taken against someone that claims to have pre-notified the company about her medication would lead one to deduce that Musk, who just weeks ago told The New York Times that “weed is not helpful for productivity,” is fully aware of what the consequences of utilizing illegal substances are.

That is, unless Musk thinks he and his employees can do whatever they please, only ending the SpaceX and Tesla free-for-alls for those who question the powers that be.

Per Bloomberg, the single mother that Musk fired claims she was very vocal about workplace safety issues at Tesla and believes her employment status was terminated as a means of retaliation.

She’s not the first employee of Elon Musk’s to make such a claim. Tesla’s former director of environment, health, safety, and sustainability also filed a lawsuit, alleging that he was let go due to his outspoken concern about the company’s downplaying of injuries, recordkeeping violations, and unsafe working conditions that involve fires, toxic fumes, and explosion hazards.

But while individuals like these were fired, Steve Jurvetson, then a board member of SpaceX and Tesla, partied it up with Elon Musk and others at an event that allegedly featured rampant drug use. According to one entrepreneur who was there, “that party was way worse than it sounds” because attendees were forewarned “not to be freaked out” while being prohibited from taking photos or disclosing what occurred at the event with others.

Meanwhile, The FBI charged a former SpaceX employee for operating a website that can “enable its users to buy and sell illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services anonymously and beyond the reach of law enforcement.”

And, as reported by the New York Post in mid-August, Tesla may have also "'refused' to inform the DEA and law enforcement about several of its employees’ involvement in a drug trafficking ring that moved ‘significantly quantities of cocaine and possibly crystal methamphetamine’ on behalf of a Mexican cartel."

While preventing Musk from using illegal substances while performing contracts, the federal government further mandates that he attempt to maintain a drug-free workplace at all times. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO violates the law himself while appearing to, at best, selectively enforce it among employees. Federal law and consumer safety seem to sit on the backburner while having a good time at all costs remains of paramount importance.

And yet, while government procurement policy is violated, rockets malfunction, and missions get delayed on the regular, SpaceX continues to receive hundreds of millions of government contracts. It’s almost as if Musk is the frontman of an alternate reality script and we’re the flabbergasted spectators.

However, Musk is not above the law, and the Air Force cannot and should not carry SpaceX’s water by engaging in the same type of lax behavior. Now that there is finally clear visual evidence of Musk shrugging off drug policy, the Pentagon must do what’s right for the security of this nation by enforcing the Federal Acquisition Regulations government contractors are bound by.

After all, we’re in the midst of a space race with China. It’d be a shame if our chances of winning this defense battle got smoked away by one irresponsible contractor and the Pentagon officials that decided to look the other way.

George Landrith is the President and CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. To learn more about Frontiers of Freedom, visit To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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It’s time for the Air Force to fire Elon Musk — or, at the very least, put his services on suspension.
air force, elon musk, spacex, tesla
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 02:46 PM
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