Taiwan prosecutors find Elon Musk not guilty of instructing or inducing people to smoke marijuana

The Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office has concluded that Elon Musk is not guilty of inducing others to smoke marijuana, following an investigation arising from accusations made against the American billionaire by lawyer Zoe Lee.

On August 23, 2023, Lee, who serves as secretary-general of Taiwan’s Green Party, filed a lawsuit accusing Musk of smoking marijuana during a show aired online in 2018, spreading the notion that marijuana is harmless. Musk also loosened regulations to allow marijuana advertisements on his social platform, X, and is therefore suspected of inducing others to use marijuana.

Lee did not make the accusations out of malice against Elon Musk, but to highlight the absurdity of statements made by Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice. The MOJ said in a press release that people making videos of themselves smoking pot while abroad in countries where marijuana is legal were liable to criminal charges for instructing or inducing others to use a category 2 illegal drug. The MOJ made it clear that the law could apply to non-citizens as well as citizens of Taiwan.

Lee, and other rights activists blasted the MOJ’s statements as harkening back to Taiwan’s authoritarian martial law era, and constituting a blatant attack on the right to free speech.

It was reported today that the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office has completed the investigation, and concluded that Musk did not break the law. The prosecutor reviewed the program footage and found that the marijuana cigarettes smoked by Musk were provided by the program’s host. and Musk has repeatedly made negative comments about marijuana use. The prosecutor said that it was difficult to conclude that there was any instruction or inducement to cause others to commit the crime, therefore it is concluded that Musk is not guilty.

The tech billionaire famously took a puff of marijuana mixed with tobacco after he was handed a joint two hours into a four-hour interview with Joe Rogan in September 2018. Musk told Rogan he does not regularly smoke weed, saying he doesn’t think it’s very good for productivity.

Taiwan's weed lawyer Zoe "better call Zoe" Lee
Picture credit: Zoe Lee, Facebook
Taiwan English News is an independent publication with no corporate funding. If you found this article informative, and would like to support my work, please buy me a coffee or support me on Patreon. Subscribe to Taiwan English News for free to receive the latest news via email. Advertising queries are welcome. Share, like, comment below.

Comment and discuss this story: While all opinions are welcome, comments will not be approved if they contain inflammatory speech.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.