Marijuana Anonymous uses the basic 12 Steps of Recovery founded by Alcoholics Anonymous, because it has been proven that the 12 Step Recovery program works!

What is Marijuana Anonymous?

Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women 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. Marijuana Anonymous uses the basic 12 Steps of Recovery founded by Alcoholics Anonymous, because it has been proven that the 12 Step Recovery program works!

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.

Has smoking pot stopped being fun? These Twelve Questions may help you determine if marijuana is a problem in your life.

    1. Has smoking pot 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?

    6. Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?

    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 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 M.A. 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 M.A. as a whole.

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

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

    7. Every M.A. 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. M.A., 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 M.A. 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, T.V., film, and other public media. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow M.A. members.

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

The 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.

For the Loved Ones of Marijuana Addicts

Who Is a Marijuana Addict?

A marijuana addict's life is controlled by marijuana. He or she loses interest in all else, their dreams go up in smoke. Marijuana addiction is a progressive illness often leading to addiction to other drugs, including alcohol. The lives, thinking and desires of marijuana addicts center around marijuana--scoring it, dealing it and finding ways to stay high.

Addiction is a progressive, long-term continuing problem. When an addict tries to stop using and fails because life without the drug is just too hard, that is addiction. Once an addict is convinced he or she cannot live without marijuana, the dependency becomes an obsession. When the addict uses even though he or she promised themselves they wouldn't, this is compulsion.

It is the nature of addiction that addicts don't believe they are ill. Marijuana addicts, in particular, tend to believe that they must be "OK" since there are much worse drugs, and other people whose lives are much worse off as a result of their using. That is denial.

We have found that addiction is a physical, mental and spiritual disease. The physical aspect is the compulsion--the inability to stop once we have started. The mental aspect is the obsession, or the overpowering desire to use, even when we are destroying our own lives and the lives of those we love. The spiritual aspect of the disease is our total self-centeredness.

Suggestions to Family Members & Friends of Marijuana Addicts

We addicts in recovery have found, through the Twelve Steps, that we are each responsible for ourselves and our actions. If a loved one helps divert a crisis for the addict, they take away the addict's opportunity to work it out, or fail. This will make it harder for the addict to perceive the problem and begin to seek the solution.

As the addict approaches their bottom and their disease worsens, family members and friends have a tendency to enable the addict, allowing them to postpone the ultimate repercussions of their using. Understandably, loved ones try to ease the suffering the addict may be feeling because of loyalty, love, caring, and a sense of responsibility. Family and friends may give money (which likely goes to buying more marijuana), buy food, pay rent and bills, bail them out of jail, etc. By trying to save the addict from him or herself, you are doing both yourself and the addict a disservice.

Addicts often try to manipulate loved ones through the use of guilt, fear, and anger. This is a very common tactic used (both consciously and unconsciously) by the addict to get what he or she wants by taking advantage of the emotions of those closest to him or her.

The Story of the Lotus Eaters

About 3,000 years ago, the poet Homer told a story about a man called Odysseus and his voyage home to Greece following the Trojan Wars. Odysseus and his men met up with many exciting adventures along the way, but the most relevant to us is the story of his landing on the Island of the Lotus Eaters.

The island was so beautiful that Odysseus wanted to stay there awhile and rest up. So, he sent out some scouts to determine if the natives were friendly. Odysseus waited and waited, but the scouts never returned.

What had happened was this: the scouts had indeed met up with the locals, the Lotus Eaters, who turned out to be very friendly. The Lotus Eaters even shared their food with the scouts. But, the food — the lotus — was a kind of dope, and the scouts got wasted from it and forgot all about Odysseus, their mission, getting back to Greece...everything. All they wanted to do was hang out, eat lotus, and get high.

Lucky for them, Odysseus came and dragged them kicking and screaming back to the ship. He tied them to their seats and ordered the crew to row like hell, in case anyone else might eat the lotus and forget the way home. The story of Odysseus is about more than just a Greek guy in a boat. It's about the journey people take through life and the obstacles they meet along the way. The story of the Lotus Eaters speaks particularly to us dopeheads. As addicts, we were stuck in a Lotus Land; we forgot our mission; we forgot the other adventures that awaited us; we forgot about going home.

Luckily, we each had within us our own Odysseus, our own Higher Power, which grabbed us by the collar and threw us back into the boat. So now we're rowing like hell. We may not know what's going to come next, but we're back on our way through life again.

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