As CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk devotes much of his energy to helping humanity embark on new interplanetary voyages, yet the tech entrepreneur also appears to be in favor of trips of an altogether different kind. Speaking at the technology development event CodeCon 2021, Musk expressed his support for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, predicting that the substances will become more widely accepted in years to come.
“I think, generally, people should be open to psychedelics,” said Musk during an interview in front of a live audience. While he didn’t elaborate on why he supports these consciousness-altering drugs, an ever-expanding body of scientific evidence points to the potential of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders.
In particular, substances such as ayahuasca and psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – have been found to enhance mental wellbeing and are seen as promising candidates to treat conditions like depression. According to Musk, the current prohibition on the use of psychedelics is likely to be lifted in the near future, allowing more people to experience their healing properties.
“A lot of people making laws are kind of from a different era, so I think, as the new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics,” he said.
Asked if he believes these substances could help correct some of humanities “destructive tendencies,” Musk expressed his view that our species isn’t quite as problematic as our reputation suggests. “We are at a very peaceful moment in history,” he said, claiming that “we’re actually at the lowest violence per capita in human history. It may not seem like that but objectively those are the statistics.”
While Musk had never previously explicitly backed psychedelics, he has in the past dropped a few cryptic hints regarding his views on the subject. In November last year, for instance, he tweeted that the “laws of thermodynamics” can never be overcome “unless you’re on DMT” – referring to the psychoactive compound in ayahuasca.
Back in 2018, meanwhile, he landed himself in hot water after smoking cannabis while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Following the incident, NASA launched a review into the workplace culture at SpaceX, claiming it was seeking assurances that the company was fit to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.
Speaking to the Washington Post, a NASA spokesperson explained that the review sought to verify that “companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”
SpaceX employees probably do not use any mind-altering drugs while at work, although Musk’s latest comments have got some wondering what it would be like to take psychedelics in space.