My family has a long history of alcoholism. By the time I was 10 years old, I had already attended several funerals of uncles and aunts undone by the bottle. I have vivid memories of my grandmother wailing by the side of the coffin as she buried her children. Then, I saw her bury her husband for the same reason. When I was in college, I received a letter from my mother informing me that my grandmother had finally succumbed to the same fate. After going to all those funerals, I never really got into booze.
I drank beer in college, sometimes to excess, but it was not my thing. I discovered cannabis at age 15 and found that I didn’t really need much else, other than the occasional acid trip to keep me honest with the universe. And that’s how I’ve lived for most of my adult life. The good news is I’m still here to tell the tale, and I’ve made a good living trading cannabis and being an advocate for sobriety the California way, now commonly referred to as, “Cali sober.”
For those of you who don’t know anything about Cali sober, it means you don’t drink much—or at all—but you do smoke weed and maybe take some psychedelics. You may also be into yoga, mindfulness, or the Pegan Diet. Cali sober is a different take on intoxication and sobriety. It allows for individual interpretation and tweaks. If you want one glass of wine with your evening joint and still call yourself Cali sober, sure, go ahead. If you want to smoke copious amounts of weed and say you’re Cali sober, knock yourself stoned. The important distinction is who is in control. Cali sober means not being addicted to any intoxicant and having a balanced relationship with cannabis and psychedelics as an additive to good living, not something that takes away from life or gets you all strung out.
Here in California, this lifestyle is widely practiced but it’s also big business. While Goop is on one extreme of the market potential of Cali sober, thousands of Californians are building wealth by trading in the goods and services of this lifestyle. Whether it be a chain of yoga studios or weed shops, this economy is booming and spreading across the country. And it’s not just financial wealth we’re experiencing as Cali sober entrepreneurs, we’re living longer and happier lives.
As the country moves away from booze and cigarettes and into weed and mushrooms, more wealth can be created for a broader class of people than ever before. The economic potential becomes monstrous when we include weaning humanity off fossil fuels as part of the Cali sober way of living. More people drive electric cars and have solar panels in California than anywhere else in the world. Industrial hemp and regenerative agriculture are also feeding the Cali sober supply chain, so go ahead and put those hemp seeds on your avocado toast. It’s good for you and the planet. The demand for organic, craft, and locally sourced ingredients is giving birth to new businesses everyday. Workers are getting good wages in this economy with benefits, too. And most of this activity is not coming from traditional elites, but a new era of entrepreneurship with a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Space Coyote President and Co-founder Libby Cooper is part of this new wave of leaders with successful businesses who also impact society with the Cali sober creed. “I have been Cali sober since I, funnily enough, turned the legal drinking age of 21, and I’m finding that more and more of my peers are on this same program too,” shares Libby. “This is a lifestyle of exploratory experiences where alcohol is no longer the focus. There’s no time for feeling leveled down and the next generation is fully on board.” Space Coyote plays in the recreational world of cannabis, which means they use stoner language, images of people smoking their joints, and having a good time. They lean into the fact that their customers are choosing weed over alcohol on a daily basis, with many of them not drinking at all. Libby adds, “As a high potency product, we are exploring the psychedelic side of weed very much fitting in with the demographic who are expanding their minds.”
As a Gen Xer who has been practicing this way of living for decades, I am impressed with this new energy hitting the scene. I like the name Cali sober. It’s fun and serious at the same time — just like life, and being human. Cali sober has the potential to make your life better, but it may also hold one key to the post Covid-19 economy. If the 2020s get to roaring like the 1920s did, Cali Sober may just be the lion that makes the most noise.