Vanderpump Rules’ James Kennedy Reacts to Lala Kent’s Stance Against Him Being ‘California Sober’

Vanderpump Rules' James Kennedy Reacts to Lala Kent's Stance Against Him Being 'California Sober'

When it comes to defining sobriety, Vanderpump Rules costars James Kennedy and Lala Kent will have to agree to disagree.

During a joint appearance on Watch What Happens Live Tuesday with fiancée Raquel Leviss, a fan asked Kennedy for his reaction to Kent’s stance against him being “California sober.” Though sobriety traditionally requires abstinence from all drugs and alcohol, “California sober” allows for the use of select substances (i.e. marijuana) in moderation.

“She can’t really mean it. I don’t know. I think she says some things sometimes,” Kennedy, 29, said of 31-year-old Kent. “I know she respects where I’m at, but like I understand too. She’s completely sober.”

Weighing in, host Andy Cohen mentioned the argument of how the California sober lifestyle could be a way of “substituting one addiction for another.” But Kennedy said marijuana has helped him to no longer use alcohol.

“It helped me quit the alcohol for good, you know what I mean?” he said. “I will quit weed also when the time comes. … I don’t feel like I should quit right now, you know? There’s no point.”

The deejay added, “It doesn’t harm me. It doesn’t, like, affect my life in a negative way. So, why quit?”

As Cohen, 53, asked for Leviss’ opinion on the matter, the 27-year-old said she has no problem with Kennedy’s marijuana usage. “I don’t mind if he smokes week because his issue doesn’t lie with weed,” she said. “It lies with alcohol.”

lala kent and james kennedy

lala kent and james kennedy
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ; Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Kennedy admitted he’s “cut back a lot” but still smokes marijuana daily and will use edibles. Regardless, he is still “grateful” for how far he’s come in his sobriety journey.

“It’s wild and it’s a blessing. I thank God every day for my sobriety, honestly,” the reality star said. “Cutting out alcohol was the best decision I’ve ever made, thanks to [Raquel]. … It’s just f—— amazing. I wake up every morning never hungover, just like ready for life. And I know that sounds cliché, but it’s honestly so good.”

Kent, who has been sober since 2018, previously called out Demi Lovato for adopting the “California sober” approach and said their actions were “super offensive.” (Lovato, 29, has battled addiction for years and survived a near-death overdose in 2018.)

Recently, Kent addressed Kennedy’s decision to do the same, saying “it’s not a real thing.”

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“The term is dry, and I’m obviously in the program. I’m with a lot of incredible men and women who do everything in their power to never pick up any sort of substance,” she said on Watch What Happens Live. “So to hear someone say, ‘I’m California sober,’ it doesn’t sit right with me. Because I’m a person who only drank and smoked weed and almost lost my entire life. So, I don’t like it.”

The mother of one added, “The smallest amount of anything could potentially — you could fall off the wagon. So for me, I just think … just don’t disrespect people who work really hard to never pick up anything and remain in their right frame of mind at all times.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.