Elon Musk's Joke Isn't Funny Any More

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The CEO of electric-car maker Tesla and rocket startup SpaceX spent more than two-and-a-half hours Thursday night talking to podcast host Joe Rogan about what it's like inside his head ("a never-ending explosion"), keeping a vehicle company in business ("very difficult") and trying to get governments to regulate artificial intelligence ("nobody listened").

But that's not it.

On Friday morning, Tesla announced that Dave Morton, its chief accounting officer, had tendered his resignation on Tuesday - less than a month after he had joined the company.

Musk raised eyebrows on social media after accepting what Rogan said was a joint of marijuana and tobacco and taking a puff. His past jokes about tweeting after taking Ambien and drinking wine didn't seem so amusing anymore, and he defended his use of the prescription sleep aid in a New York Times interview.

At this point, you have either made your peace with it and want to let Tesla's genius just be himself; or you've been wondering how on earth (that giant, lightly crusted ball of lava) the stock price has defied the onslaught of missed targets, tantrums, the tent, Pedo-Gate, and the take-private-yeah?-nah fiasco.

"One of those investors, Ross Gerber, told Business Insider's Graham Rapier Musk has "lost a lot of confidence in some of his core investment community".

"Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations", Morton said in the filing.

"I'm not a regular smoker of weed", Mr Musk said.

In the month since Musk abruptly announced on Twitter that he had "funding secured" to take the company private, the shares have lost nearly a third of their value.

"You probably can't because of stockholders, right?" said Rogan during last night's podcast as he handed Musk a blunt. "Elon Musk is just smoking it out in the open, knowing that he uses his very vague drug policy as a way to fire people that are a threat to him".

His departure came as Tesla faces the prospect of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Musk's aborted plan.

Bloomberg also reported Tesla's chief people officer Gaby Toledano would not return from a holiday just over a year after joining.

The departure of top executives has prompted scrutiny.

Musk didn't appear to be doing anything illegal because recreational use of marijuana is legal in the state of California. "The trick is you have to transition to level flight", Musk said. "The company has problems, and it seems the board and investors need to start speaking up about how the company is being run". But it is beginning to take its toll on the auto company he helped found.

In a filing earlier Friday, the company said the functions and personnel Morton had been leading would be overseen by Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja and its corporate controller.

"I mean, it's legal right?"

Especially weird moments involving the Tesla chief of late include disparaging remarks about Vernon Unsworth, a Briton who helped save boys trapped in a Thai cave and the abrupt shutdown of Wall Street analyst's questions during a contentious earnings conference call.