Elon Musk talks about drugs

Elon Musk talks about drugs

Never a stranger to controversy, Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk caught people’s attention again when he said, “If drugs actually helped improve my net productivity over time, I would definitely take them!”

This post on X was in response to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article that used anonymous sources to describe Musk as a user of hard illicit drugs. It specifically mentioned he does mushrooms, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and others, drawing worries from the board and investors over not just his well-being but also the government contracts his companies benefit from.

However, if Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ:MNMD) gets its way, articles from the WSJ on the topic might not raise eyebrows but instead be common forms of healing to treat serious mental health issues.

Investors might know of Mind Medicine (commonly known as Mind Med) from its 2021 rise in part supported by investor and paid spokesperson Kevin O’Leary, who said, “The potential of psychedelics far exceeds the potential of cannabis.” Hype drove the stock to highs that the science could not advance fast enough at the time to support, but the company has not stopped developing its pipeline.

According to Mind Med’s website, “There is emerging evidence that compounds with psychedelic activity have the capacity to be catalysts for transformative improvement in mental functioning. Rather than ameliorating distressing symptoms, MindMed is developing psychedelic-inspired medicines that seek to treat underlying causes of distress in the brain.”

Its investor presentation mentions LSD 18 times, MDMA and other compounds.

Prescriptions coming out of traditional pharmacies have had their share of health concerns, such as the perceived oversubscription of antidepressant and antianxiety drugs, or the millions of Americans impacted by the opioid crisis in large part because the overprescription of opiate pain pills.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 in 8 Americans are on antidepressants. Meanwhile, opiates kill over 80,000 Americans a year.

MindMed’s early research suggests it’s hopeful it can cure many ailments without the need for traditional big pharma, with the goal of its studies to help conditions such as anxiety, autism, opiate withdrawal, depression and cluster headaches.

While the stock is up about 12% in the past year, it is still down about 94% from its 2021 highs.

MindMed is a public company at around a $150 million valuation, but there are startups in the space that retail investors could still participate in thanks to equity crowdfunding.

Choose Your Horizon, a mental wellness company offering at-home psychedelic therapy for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through telemedicine, has already raised over $573,000 on StartEngine from more than 314 investors at a $14.87 million valuation.

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