My family has a long history of alcoholism. By the age of 10, I had already attended several funerals of uncles and aunts defeated by the bottle. I have vivid memories of my grandmother crying next to 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 attending all these funerals, I never really drank alcohol.
I drank beer in college, sometimes to excess, but it wasn’t my thing. I discovered cannabis at 15 and found that I didn’t really need much else other than the occasional acid trip to keep myself honest with the universe. And that’s how I lived most of my adult life. The good news is, I’m always here to tell the story, and I’ve made a good living trading cannabis and advocating for sobriety the California way, now commonly known as, “Cali sober. “
For those of you who don’t know anything about sober Cali, that means you don’t drink a lot – or at all – but smoke weed and maybe take psychedelics. You can also be into yoga, mindfulness, or the Pegan diet. Cali sober is a different approach to intoxication and sobriety. It allows for individual interpretation and adjustments. If you want a glass of wine with your evening joint and still say to yourself Cali sober, sure, go for it. If you want to smoke a lot of weed and say you’re sober Cali, hit the rock. The important distinction is who is in control. Cali sober means not being addicted to any intoxicants and having a balanced relationship with cannabis and psychedelics as a well-being additive, not something that takes your life or tires you all.
Here in California this lifestyle is widely practiced but it is also big business. While Goop is at an extreme of sober Cali’s market potential, thousands of Californians are building wealth by trading the goods and services of this lifestyle. Whether it’s a chain of yoga studios or weed stores, this economy is booming and spreading across the country. And it’s not just the financial wealth that we experience as sober Cali entrepreneurs, we live longer and happier.
As the country moves away from alcohol and cigarettes to weed and mushrooms, more wealth can be created for a wider class of people than ever before. The economic potential becomes monstrous when we include humanity’s weaning from fossil fuels as part of Cali’s sober lifestyle. More people drive electric cars and have solar panels in California than anywhere else in the United States. Industrial hemp and regenerative agriculture also fuel Cali’s low-key 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, artisanal and local ingredients gives rise to new businesses every day. Workers receive good wages in this economy with social benefits as well. And most of this activity does not come from traditional elites, but from 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 successful business leaders who are also impacting society with Cali’s understated credo. “I’ve been sober in Cali since I, oddly enough, reached the legal drinking age of 21, and I’m finding that more and more of my peers are also participating in this same program,” says Libby. “It’s a lifestyle of exploratory experiences where alcohol is no longer the focus. There is no time to feel leveled and the next generation is fully on board. Space Coyote is playing in the recreational world of cannabis, which means they use stoner language, pictures of people smoking their joints and having fun. They reflect on the fact that their clients choose weed over alcohol on a daily basis, with many not drinking at all. Libby adds, “As a high potency product, we explore the psychedelic side of weed that perfectly matches the population that is expanding their minds.”
As a Gen Xer who has practiced this lifestyle for decades, I’m in awe of this new energy hitting the scene. I like the sober name Cali. It’s fun and serious at the same time – just like life and being human. Cali sober has the potential to improve your life, but he may also hold a key to the post-Covid-19 economy. If the 2020s get to roar like the 1920s, sober Cali might just be the lion who makes the most noise.