Elon Musk has attempted to explain his controversial tweet about taking Tesla private, saying he was “not on weed” at the time.
The electric carmaker’s founder has been facing intense scrutiny about the 7 August tweet which said he wanted to take Tesla private at $420 a share.
He told the New York Times that the price of $420 seemed like “better karma” than $419.
“But I was not on weed, to be clear,” he said.
4/20 is an infamous term, more common in the US, that refers to the consumption of cannabis.
The price of $419 would have represented a 20% premium over Tesla’s share price at the time.
“It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419. 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,” Mr Musk, 47, told the paper.
His tweet sparked a sharp rally in Tesla’s share price, but has also prompted scrutiny. The stock closed at $335.45 in New York on Thursday.
Fox News has reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sent subpoenas to the electric carmaker and was “ramping up” its investigation into the tweet.
Mr Musk also said he sent the tweet while driving in a Tesla Model S to the airport and that he did not regret sending it.
He also told the New York Times that friends had expressed concern that he was exhausted after working 120 hour weeks: “This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating.”