From Elon Musk smoking marijuana on Joe Rogan‘s podcast to Steve Jobs dabbling in psychedelics, Silicone Valley is no stranger to drug use.

But a new report has laid bare just how rampant illegal and legal substance use has become in the tech world – with executives the creative edge over competitors, power through insane shifts and party all night.

While cocaine use is synonymous with Wall Street, the report outlined how Silicon Valley’s drugs of choice appear to be more powerful psychedelics like LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), mushrooms, and ketamine – as well as legal stimulants like Adderall.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is rumored to indulge in magic mushrooms while Musk is reportedly fond of MDMA (ecstasy) and ketamine.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoked cannabis on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2018, prompting NASA to perform a safety review of SpaceX. His drug use has escalated since then, reports say, to regularly include ketamine, MDMA, and mushrooms.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoked cannabis on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2018, prompting NASA to perform a safety review of SpaceX. His drug use has escalated since then, reports say, to regularly include ketamine, MDMA, and mushrooms.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoked cannabis on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2018, prompting NASA to perform a safety review of SpaceX. His drug use has escalated since then, reports say, to regularly include ketamine, MDMA, and mushrooms.

Ketamine is a medical-grade anesthetic that is used to euthanize animals and to sedate people in hospital settings. It also has a reputation as a party drug because it induces psychedelic experiences at high doses. Recent research has shown it has promise for treating depression.

Ketamine is a medical-grade anesthetic that is used to euthanize animals and to sedate people in hospital settings. It also has a reputation as a party drug because it induces psychedelic experiences at high doses. Recent research has shown it has promise for treating depression.

Ketamine is a medical-grade anesthetic that is used to euthanize animals and to sedate people in hospital settings. It also has a reputation as a party drug because it induces psychedelic experiences at high doses. Recent research has shown it has promise for treating depression.

But the drug use spreads far beyond the boardroom. Even rank-and-file workers have reported ‘micro-dosing’ on small amounts of psychedelic drugs during work hours to improve their focus and creativity – claims that only have anecdotal evidence to back them up.

Some tech figures like Thiel have invested heavily in psychedelic medicine, too. 

The Silicon Valley elite give a nod to this research and echo the language of psychedelics as medicine when they describe their drug use.

But insiders paint a different picture: drug-addled sex parties, on-the-job dosing, and professional repercussions for refusing to partake, according to the report.

This trend has sparked concerns among investors and board members at some of the tech giants, the report outlined, as senior staff have reported quitting because of their discomfort working in an environment where drug use is the norm – not just after work, but during the workday too.

In many cases, tech leaders have self-reported that they use psychedelics like LSD, MDMA, magic mushrooms, and ketamine. In other cases, the people around them have shared about their habits.

One Tesla board member declined to pursue re-election because of her concerns about Musk’s drug use.

Besides smoking cannabis openly on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2018, Musk has been open about his use of the powerful psychedelic tranquilizer ketamine, which has been ‘causing alarm‘ among other board members of Tesla and SpaceX.

Others in the Valley have let their drug use guide them away from tech.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has gone on the record in the past about his use of small amounts of 'magic' psilocybin mushrooms.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has gone on the record in the past about his use of small amounts of 'magic' psilocybin mushrooms.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has gone on the record in the past about his use of small amounts of ‘magic’ psilocybin mushrooms.

Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as 'magic mushrooms,' are now decriminalized in Colorado and Oregon, meaning individuals can possess a small amount without fear of arrest. The California cities of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland have also decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms.

Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as 'magic mushrooms,' are now decriminalized in Colorado and Oregon, meaning individuals can possess a small amount without fear of arrest. The California cities of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland have also decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms.

Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as ‘magic mushrooms,’ are now decriminalized in Colorado and Oregon, meaning individuals can possess a small amount without fear of arrest. The California cities of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland have also decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms.

Digital marketing startup founder Tim Sae Koo told Ynet that after he had a transformative experience with psychedelics in 2014, he realized he had only started his business to gain his mother’s approval.

‘Through exploring the psychedelic realm, I gained clarity that my entrepreneurial journey had originated from a place of personal wounds,’ he said.

After this revelation, Sae Koo sold his company.

But he hasn’t strayed far from tech, and he now runs psychedelic retreats for tech entrepreneurs in Costa Rica, where they ingest the DMT-containing brew ayahuasca. 

For others, mixing drugs with work has not been so smooth.

Musk’s Tesla has a reportedly lax attitude towards on-the-job drug use, including some employees who come to work high on cannabis or psychedelics.

Former California Tesla factory employee S.O. Svensson reportedly indulged freely in his off-hours but was booted after trying to sell drug-infused brownies to a fellow employee who turned out to be an undercover drug enforcement agent.

He received no support from Musk or the company, Ynetnews reported. 

The dark side of this drug use has exploded into public view, too, in several notable incidents.

Reports suggest that the former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s 2020 death was linked to his prodigious ketamine and nitrous oxide use.

Before CashApp founder Bob Lee was stabbed to death, he was known to be part of a sex-and-drugs swinger party lifestyle in San Francisco. His autopsy revealed cocaine and ketamine in his system.

The late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was open about his LSD use. Jobs said it was one of the most important things he had ever done.

The late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was open about his LSD use. Jobs said it was one of the most important things he had ever done.

The late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was open about his LSD use. Jobs said it was one of the most important things he had ever done.

Tim Sae Koo founded a digital marketing startup in Silicon Valley, but in 2014 a profound psychedelic experience led him to sell the company.

Tim Sae Koo founded a digital marketing startup in Silicon Valley, but in 2014 a profound psychedelic experience led him to sell the company.

Tim Sae Koo founded a digital marketing startup in Silicon Valley, but in 2014 a profound psychedelic experience led him to sell the company.

Tim Sae Koo now runs Reunion Ayahuasca Center in Costa Rica, where tech entrepreneurs come to take the powerful psychedelic brew ayahuasca, which contains the chemical DMT.

Tim Sae Koo now runs Reunion Ayahuasca Center in Costa Rica, where tech entrepreneurs come to take the powerful psychedelic brew ayahuasca, which contains the chemical DMT.

Tim Sae Koo now runs Reunion Ayahuasca Center in Costa Rica, where tech entrepreneurs come to take the powerful psychedelic brew ayahuasca, which contains the chemical DMT.

The man accused of his murder, Nima Momeni, was a technology adviser who seemed to blame Lee for involving Momeni’s sister Khazar in this world of sex and drugs.

Khazar was a no-show at her court hearing for a DUI this week. 

Psychedelic drugs have stolen the spotlight in recent years, away from the former drug-of-choice for the Silicon Valley elite: stimulants.

For years stimulant ADHD medications like Adderall and Ritalin have fueled marathon workdays for coders and programmers who labored under brutal deadlines. 

These habits persist, according to a 2023 study that showed 80 percent of tech execs surveyed were using medications – either with or without a doctor’s supervision.

Thirty-four percent were using stimulant drugs. 

Even though ‘mind-expanding’ psychedelic drugs have become the preferred substances of the Valley, the reasoning behind it is the same: Investors demand big returns, which means not just hard work but also creative thinking.

‘Investors don’t want a normal person or a normal company,’ BuildBetter.ai CEO Spencer Shulem told Ynetnews. ‘They want something extraordinary, but you’re not born extraordinary.’

The substance use isn’t limited to the public figures.

As reported by Ynetnews and other outlets, there is a culture among the tech elite of pressuring people into drug use.

Sometimes that pressure is not outward, but rather a clear and unspoken message that this is what you have to do to be considered trustworthy in the upper tiers of power.

As Emily Chang reported in her book Brotopia, drug-fueled sex parties among the Silicon Valley elite have a double-standard when it comes to gender.

In previous reporting about some of the Silicon Valley sex parties, women working in the tech industry have described an environment where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Refusing to participate in the private parties where MDMA and other drugs are on offer risks labeling oneself prudish. 

This has serious professional consequences too, in terms of lost job opportunities. 

When male execs attend, they are applauded. Men in tech have likened attending these parties to a day on the golf course, in terms of professional networking.

When women do, they lose respect. But if they don’t attend, they risk being considered untrustworthy.

Do you have tips about drug use in Silicon Valley? Send them to [email protected]

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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