Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from marijuana addiction. It utilizes the 12-Step program, as developed by Alcoholics Anonymous.
The 12 Questions of Marijuana Anonymous
The following questions may help you determine whether marijuana is a problem in your life. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you may have a problem with marijuana according to the group.
- Has smoking marijuana stopped being fun?
- Do you ever get high alone?
- Is it hard for you to imagine a life without marijuana?
- Do you find that your friends are determined by your marijuana use?
- Do you smoke marijuana to avoid dealing with your problems?
- Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?
- Does your marijuana use let you live in a privately defined world?
- Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your dope smoking?
- Has your use of marijuana caused problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
- When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
- Do you plan your life around your marijuana use?
- Have friends or relatives ever complained that your pot smoking is damaging your relationship with them?
Marijuana Anonymous was founded in 1989. The organization grew out of frustration from those who attended other 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, who felt that those programs did not take marijuana addiction seriously.
In June of 1989, delegates from Marijuana Smokers Anonymous (Orange County, California), Marijuana Addicts Anonymous (the San Francisco Bay area), and Marijuana Anonymous (Los Angeles County) met to establish a unified twelve-step recovery program for marijuana addicts. A smaller Marijuana Anonymous group in Seattle had been unable to send delegates because of the cost, and another small Marijuana Addicts Anonymous group, in New York, was heard from later. That first conference was held in a crowded motel room halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, in Morro Bay.
Meetings are a vital part of the MA program. This is where fellowship members go for support, for literature, and to take chips to mark their time of abstinence from marijuana and all other mind-altering substances.
Various meeting formats exist. These include, but are not limited to: speaker, participation, book study, candle light and cross-talk.
History of the Twelve Traditions
The 12-traditions of Marijuana Anonymous originated from those of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Traditions of AA began as a series of articles that Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, wrote for the AA periodical, The Grapevine. Over a period of about 5 years Wilson "sold" these principles to the membership of AA, culminating in their formal adoption at AA's First International Convention in 1950. In 1952 Wilson's book on the subject, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, first saw print. The latter half of this book consists of a series of folksy tales detailing how the traditions were "hammered out on the anvil of experience."; According to Wilson, they were born solely as lessons learned from mistakes made.
The Traditions are widely credited within AA as having provided the fellowship a practical, yet idealistic organizational framework that has served it well.
- Wetzstein, Cheryl. "Addicted to weed, boomers abandon life-ruining `herb': Marijuana Anonymous tries to help", Washington Times, 1997-11-12.
- Vaughan Rees, Jan Copeland and Wendy Swift (1998). A brief cognitive-behavioural intervention for cannabis dependence: Therapists' treatment manual. University of New South Wales.
- Why Marijuana Anonymous?. Marijuana Anonymous. Retrieved on 2007-05-12.