The Twelve Questions of Marijuana Anonymous

  1. Has using marijuana stopped being fun?

  2. Do you ever get high alone?

  3. Is it hard for you to imagine a life without marijuana?

  4. Do you find that your friends are determined by your marijuana use?

  5. Do you use marijuana to avoid dealing with your problems or to cope with your feelings?

  6. Has your marijuana use led to financial difficulties and/or legal consequences?

  7. Does your marijuana use let you live in a privately defined world?

  8. Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your use of marijuana?

  9. Has your use of marijuana caused problems with your health, memory, concentration, or motivation?

  10. When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?

  11. Do you plan your life around your marijuana use?

  12. Have friends or relatives ever complained that your using is damaging your relationship with them?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have a problem with marijuana.

The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous

The practice of rigorous honesty, of opening our hearts and minds, and the willingness to go to any lengths to have a spiritual awakening are essential to our recovery. Our old ideas and ways of life no longer work for us. Our suffering shows us that we need to let go absolutely. We surrender ourselves to a Power greater than ourselves. Here are the steps we take which are suggested for recovery.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over marijuana, that our lives had become unmanageable.

  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God.

  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to marijuana addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Do not be discouraged; none of us are saints. Our program is not easy, but it is simple. We strive for progress, not perfection. Our experiences, before and after we entered recovery, teach us three important ideas:

  • That we are marijuana addicts and cannot manage our own lives;

  • That probably no human power can relieve our addiction; and

  • That our Higher Power can and will if sought.

The Twelve Traditions of Marijuana Anonymous

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon MA unity.

  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority, a loving God whose expression may come through in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

  3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana.

  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or MA as a whole.

  5. Each group has but one primary purpose, to carry its message to the marijuana addict who still suffers.

  6. MA groups ought never endorse, finance, or lend the MA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

  7. Every MA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

  8. Marijuana Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

  9. MA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

  10. Marijuana Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the MA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

  11. Our public relations policy is based upon attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, film, and other public media. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow MA members.

  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The Twelve Concepts for Service in Marijuana Anonymous

  1. The Marijuana Anonymous service structure was created to give the groups the freedom to carry out our society’s primary purpose of carrying the message to marijuana addicts.

  2. The ultimate authority and responsibility for service in Marijuana Anonymous is the collective conscience of the groups.

  3. The Marijuana Anonymous groups have delegated to its service committees and trusted servants the full authority to conduct Marijuana Anonymous’ business and service regarding district as well as world affairs.

  4. All members of a service committee have the “Right of Participation,” and bear substantial responsibility for the service committee’s decisions.

  5. Group conscience is the spiritual means by which service decisions are made.

  6. A “Right of Appeal” exists to protect minority opinions, and to ensure that all viewpoints have been considered in the decision making process.

  7. The scope of responsibility and authority of every service position should be well defined to ensure accountability of all service positions as well as the ability to perform each position.

  8. Effective leadership qualities are essential for trustees, who are entrusted with the responsibility of making final decisions regarding general world service business and finances.

  9. The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of Marijuana Anonymous World Services are legal documents that empower the trustees to manage and conduct world service business; the conference charter is not a legal document but relies on the force of the traditions and power of the group conscience.

  10. The integrity of our service structure depends on continued unity of Marijuana Anonymous groups, districts, and World Services through effective communication.

  11. Marijuana Anonymous’ funds and resources should be managed responsibly to ensure their most efficient use in carrying out the primary purpose of Marijuana Anonymous.

  12. The Marijuana Anonymous service structure should be one of selfless service and not of power or government, ensuring that the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and the warranties of Article 12 of the conference charter are always maintained.

Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana. There are no dues or fees for membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. MA is not affiliated with any religious or secular institution or organization and has no opinion on any outside controversies or causes. Our primary purpose is to stay free of marijuana and to help the marijuana addict who still suffers achieve the same freedom. We can do this by practicing our suggested Twelve Steps of recovery and by being guided as a group by our Twelve Traditions.

We who are marijuana addicts know the answer to this question. Marijuana controls our lives! We lose interest in all else; our dreams go up in smoke. Ours is a progressive illness often leading us to addictions to other drugs, including alcohol. Our lives, our thinking, and our desires center around marijuana—scoring it, dealing it, and finding ways to stay high.

Dangers of Cross Addiction

As stated in our third tradition, the only requirement for

membership in Marijuana Anonymous is a desire to stop

using marijuana. There is no mention of any other drugs or

alcohol. This is to adhere to the "singleness of purpose"

concept, but many of us have found that the only way that

we can keep our sobriety is to abstain from all mind and

mood altering chemicals, including alcohol.


When we give up the drug of our choice, a void is created.

The initial struggle to abstain from marijuana use often

leaves us vulnerable. To fill this void we may start to use,

or increase the use of, other substances such as alcohol,

cocaine, pills, or other self-prescribed drugs.


Although we may not now be addicted to these substances,

their use can lower our inhibitions, leaving us open to

repeating old patterns of thinking and behaving that can lead

back to marijuana use. The fact that we became addicted to

marijuana reflects a tendency towards behavior that may

lead to cross addiction or substitution addiction to these

substances.


To reiterate, the only requirement for membership is a

desire to stop using marijuana. It is important, however,

to recognize the potential to create another problem as

we strive to recover from this one.

Sponsorship

What is Sponsorship?

Sponsorship is one recovering person talking to another recovering person. Through sharing, both individuals enrich their lives. The sponsor and the sponsee meet as equals, discuss recovery issues, work the Steps and the program.

For the newcomer, a sponsor is a special person with whom they can discuss problems, ask questions, and through whom they can gain an understanding of recovery through the 12-Step program.

Is a sponsor required?

No, sponsorship is a valuable aid in recovery, but it is not required.

Is it important to have a sponsor?

Yes, a relationship with a sponsor is an important tool in recovery. It is often the beginning development of an ability to trust others and communicate effectively. Having frequent, close contact with another member of the program provides an opportunity to process issues that one might be unwilling to raise in front of the group.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you have to believe in God to quit smoking marijuana?

A: This quote from Marijuana Anonymous’ book Life with Hope, page 7 (Step Two) sheds light on this question:

It is not necessary to acquire a major God Consciousness to be able to cease using. All we need is to maintain an open mind and a hopeful heart. It is not necessary to say yes. It is, however, important to stop saying no. Observe the reality around you and the recovery taking place within MA. One only has to stop fighting. Higher Power means different things to different people. To some of us, it is a God of an organized religion; to others, it is a state of being commonly called spirituality. Some of us believe in no deity; a Higher Power may be the strength gained from being a part of, and caring for, a community of others. There is room in MA for all beliefs. We do not proselytize any particular view or religion. In MA each of us discovers a spirit of humility and tolerance, and each of us finds a Higher Power that works for us.

Q: What is the effect of marijuana on pregnancy?

A: Marijuana Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues including medical advice or opinions. MA does not know what effect marijuana may have on pregnancy. Some members may have more experience in that area than others, but no more so than the general population. That is a medical question best answered by medical professionals.

Q: What physical side effects does the use of marijuana cause?

A: The MA pamphlet Detoxing from Marijuana does not contain medically based knowledge, but empirical knowledge based on the experiences of many MA members who took the time to fill out extensive questionnaires regarding their own early days of abstinence from their drug of choice. This pamphlet should answer most of your questions on common physical side effects.

Q: Why do I need MA to quit using marijuana?

A: Maybe you don’t. From the Preamble to Marijuana Anonymous’ book, Life with Hope:

Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction.

If you haven’t crossed over the line from using to abusing to addiction, you can probably quit using it any time you’d like. Marijuana Anonymous is for those of us who crossed over that line into addiction and for whom “just saying no” is no longer an option. We need more than just will power to refrain from using. We need the help of other addicts who understand our problem. If you are an addict we are here to help you.

Q: How can there be marijuana addicts if marijuana is not addicting?

A: From Marijuana Anonymous’ book, Life with Hope, page xv (Who is a Marijuana Addict?):

We who are marijuana addicts know the answer to this question. Marijuana controls our lives! We lose interest in all else; our dreams go up in smoke. Ours is a progressive illness often leading us to addictions to other drugs, including alcohol. Our lives, our thinking, and our desires center around marijuana—scoring it, dealing it, and finding ways to stay high.

Based on our own experiences, we who seek recovery in MA generally consider ourselves to be marijuana addicts. Whether or not our addiction is psychological, physical, or both, matters little. When it comes to the use of marijuana, we have lost the power of choice. It is strictly up to the individual to decide whether he or she feels addicted to marijuana. MA has no opinion about marijuana itself one way or another. Marijuana Anonymous exists solely to provide a means of recovery to the suffering addict who seeks help.

Q: What is MA’s opinion on the legalization of marijuana?

A: The Tenth Tradition of Marijuana Anonymous states:

Marijuana Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the MA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

This tradition protects the integrity of the organization. From Marijuana Anonymous’ book Life with Hope, page 93:

Anything that can disrupt our unity, and interfere with our primary purpose of carrying the message to the marijuana addict who still suffers, should be avoided.

Therefore, MA has no opinion about the legalization of marijuana.

Q: Can you provide any information that will help me convince my child (spouse, friend, parent, etc.) to quit using marijuana?

A: You can find most of our literature on this website. It explains who we are and how our program works. However, it is unlikely that literature alone will convince someone to quit using. A person cannot be forced or nagged or prodded into recovery; they must come to the realization on their own that they are an addict and powerless over marijuana. No chart, graph, or stack of pamphlets and books can convince someone that they have a problem if they themselves are unwilling to admit it. Willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty are vital components of a successful recovery program. These essential traits are not something a person can be “convinced” to possess; they can only come from within. See the MA pamphlet For the Loved Ones of Marijuana Addicts for more information.