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- Elon Musk recently tweeted that he wanted to take Tesla private at a price of $420 per share — which many thought was a reference to weed.
- 420 is widely recognised as a coded reference to marijuana.
- But in an interview with the New York Times Musk said he is no fan of weed, and denied being high while tweeting.
- Musk said he got the figure by sticking a 20% premium on Telsa's trading price, which came out at $419.
- He said he then added $1 for "better karma," giving him $420.
Elon Musk has implied that the $420 stock price he floated for taking Tesla private was not a covert reference to weed, contrary to widespread speculation.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
From the Times:
"He said in the interview that he wanted to offer a roughly 20 percent premium over where the stock had been recently trading, which would have been about $419. He decided to round up to $420 — a number that has become code for marijuana in counterculture lore.
"'It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419,' he said in the interview. 'But I was not on weed, to be clear. Weed is not helpful for productivity. There’s a reason for the word "stoned." You just sit there like a stone on weed.'"
Although not a total denial, Musk's response steered the conversation definitively away from making a weed connection, and offered an alternative explanation.
People had been wondering about the weed link because the number 420 is widely understood as a reference to marijuana, a figure born of California drug culture which has since taken on a life of its own. April 20, or 4/20, has a special resonance for many people who use marijuana.
Media outlets like Gizmodo, New York Magazine and CNBC were among those to wonder whether Musk's tweet was a weed reference, or even a joke, especially as Tesla initially couldn't explain whether Musk's idea was backed up by a serious plan.
In wall-to-wall coverage of the Elon Musk potential troll job, CNBC just had a full-screen graphic of a tweet that said "is this a weed joke."
In the interview he also talked about the stress he had been experiencing from overwork, and what he called "the most difficult and painful year of my career."