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It’s 2018. Does it really matter if CEOs toke?

Elon Musk
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Don’t worry about it.
By Heather Timmons
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

With his latest public appearance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk helped trigger a slide in company’s shares and may have scared off his HR chief for good. This time, Musk didn’t call anyone a pedophile, or potentially break US securities laws—he publicly smoked marijuana, on a talk show.

US attitudes toward marijuana are conflicted, to put it mildly. As legalization spreads to states around the country, it is time for a national conversation about when partaking is appropriate for employers and business leaders, and when it isn’t. Alcohol, after all, has been America’s great deal-making, career-building lubricant for decades. Shouldn’t weed be next?

Last year was a landmark for pot legalization, which now exists in some form (whether for recreational purposes or strictly for medical use) in 46 US states. It has become a $8 billion annual sales industry, featuring everything from designer storefronts to an option for lightweights.

At the same time, it remains illegal under federal law. Even if you’re prescribed it, many employers forbid it. About two-thirds of US companies now have a policy towards medical marijuana use, with the greatest number not allowing it at all.

When it comes to Musk, we’re divided here at Quartz. There’s the “yeah it’s legal, but given everything else that’s going on it sure looks bad” camp vs. the “given his aggressive pace and scattered management style, he could probably use more of it” faction.

So we wondered: How much do our readers think that workers, investors, and customers really care if CEOs smoke weed? Share your answers with us here, and if you give us permission to use them, we’ll share the best ones with our audience.

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