Cali sober [ kal-uh-fawrn-yuh soh-ber ]
What is California sober?
California sober is a term used to informally describe a person who’s a moderate user of alcohol and marijuana (or other psychedelic substances), typically as a way of avoiding heavier substance use.
The term is also used in a slightly different way to informally describe a person who has replaced all alcohol consumption with (typically moderate) marijuana use.
Regardless of which sense is used, California sober is most often used in the context of a person who has changed to such consumption to avoid substance abuse, especially that which involves alcohol and/or “harder” drugs.
However, many professionals in the field of substance abuse prevention oppose the use of the term sober in California sober as inaccurate and potentially harmful due to research that shows that it is often an ineffective method for avoiding harmful substance use.
If you’ve reached this page because you or someone you know is affected by substance abuse, please know that there is help available. You can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
Where does California sober come from?
In California sober, the word sober is used in the sense that describes someone who avoids alcohol (or other drugs) completely, especially after a period of substance abuse.
The term seems to have emerged from the US state of California as a way of referring to a “California style” of “sobriety” involving marijuana as a substitute for alcohol. Online use of the term dates back to at least 2016.
The term entered larger mainstream awareness in 2021 when musician Demi Lovato used it in the title of a song about the practice. Despite having personally identified with the term at the time of the song’s release, Lovato later changed that stance to instead promote full sobriety and avoidance of all drugs.
Examples of California sober
Who uses California sober?
The term California sober is used informally. Some people use it to refer to moderate use of alcohol and drugs, while others use it to mean the replacement of alcohol with marijuana use. Many professionals in the field of substance abuse prevention oppose the term as inaccurate and potentially harmful due to research that shows that it is often an ineffective method for avoiding harmful substance use.
3 weeks california sober (only weed) tomorrow lol gotta celebrate the small victories 🎉
— BRERAWW ♌️ (@breraww_) September 29, 2021
When the Ninja Turtles said "Say No to Drugs," you knew they meant it in a California Sober sort of way.
— Elliott S, New Boot Goofin' (@itmepagliacci) April 3, 2022
I know many don’t agree with being California sober, but if it wasn’t for Cannabis I would definitely still be drinking. Cannabis saved my life ✨ #RecoveryPosse
— ✨21·12·22✨ (@_xostargirl) February 21, 2022
This is not meant to be a formal definition of California sober like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of California sober that will help our users expand their word mastery.