Frequently Asked Questions
From the pamphlet For the Newcomer:
Am I a Marijuana Addict?
If you find it difficult to control your marijuana use, if you think about using marijuana even when you are not, or if you have broken promises to yourself or others about limiting or stopping your use, you may be an addict. Only you can decide. No one in Marijuana Anonymous will decide for you.
What is Marijuana Anonymous?
We are a group of men and women who have lost the ability to control our marijuana use and have problems that relate directly or indirectly to marijuana. We share experience, strength and hope with each other so that we can recover from our addition to marijuana, as well as help others to recover. Our program is adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
How can MA membership help me with my marijuana use?
In MA, we know what it is like to lose control over marijuana and not be able to stop using, despite pledges, pleas, and promises. Our only qualifications for helping others is that we have stopped using ourselves. If we can do it, you can do it too! It is the support that MA members offer each other that is the backbone of the program's success.
If I join MA will I need to stop drinking or using other drugs?
The only requirement for MA membership is a desire to stop using marijuana. We have found, however, that recovery requires us to examine our use of other drugs as well, including alcohol.
What happens at an MA meeting?
People discuss their problems with marijuana, what they did to recover, and what life is like now. We have found that as a group we can achieve for ourselves results which, as individuals, we failed at repeatedly.
What commitments do I make by attending an MA meeting?
None. There are no records or files and you need not disclose anything about yourself if you don't want to. No one will bother you if you do not wish to come back.
What if I meet people I know in MA?
Membership in MA is confidential and anonymous. Whom we see and what we hear in meetings is not mentioned outside of the meetings. People you know whom you see at meetings are there for the same reason you are and will respect your anonymity.
WHAT does membership cost?
Nothing. There are no dues or fees. MA meetings pay their bills through the voluntary contributions of those attending. A basket is passed at each meeting for contributions. Marijuana Anonymous is completely self-supporting.
Is THIS a religious organization?
No, nor is it connected with any religious organization, sect, denomination, politics, institution, or any other organization whatsoever.
Is there much talk about God?
Most MA members come to believe in the idea of a power greater than themselves. Some call this power God. There is room in MA for members of all beliefs or no belief at all.
Do MA members continue going to meetings after they are cured?
We don't believe in a cure for marijuana addiction; too many of us have relapsed. We find it is useful to go to meetings to maintain our recovery. By association with others with our problem, we give each other strength to avoid marijuana use on a "one day at a time" basis.
What is the Program of Recovery?
The Twelve Steps are the program. The purpose of the Twelve Steps are to help us develop a relationship with a Power greater than ourselves, to improve our relationships with others, and to help us find serenity in ourselves. It is recommended you attend as many meetings as you can and do not use between meetings. We suggest that you get phone numbers of other members and call them between meetings , especially if you have a desire to use. We also suggest that you get a sponsor as soon as possible.
What's a sponsor? & CAN I get one?
A sponsor is someone who shares their experience, strength and hope with you. They will help you understand the 12 Steps and will guide you along the path of recovery. You are free to ask anyone to be your sponsor, but our experience indicates it works best when men sponsor men and women sponsor women.
Also, from the introduction of the primary MA book: Life With Hope:
OUR APPROACH TO RECOVERY:
How can we tell you how to recover? We cannot. All we can do is share with you our own experiences and recovery through the Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous. The Twelve Traditions are the guidelines for the fellowship of Marijuana Anonymous and the basic ideas, which unify our groups. Keeping in mind that our program is a living growing thing...
Who Are We?
District 7 of Marijuana Anonymous serves South Los Angeles County, California. Marijuana Anonymous is a society of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so we may solve our common problem of marijuana addiction. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana. If you want to stop smoking marijuana, you are not alone. Our primary purpose is to carry our message of recovery to the marijuana addict who still suffers.
Why Marijuana Anonymous?
Many of us former marijuana smokers found that we were unable to stop smoking, even when it was harming our self esteem, our relationships with friends and family, and our futures.
Our lives, our thinking, and our desires centered around marijuana - scoring it, and finding ways to stay high.
We have found that in our joining together, we are able to SHARE OUR EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH AND HOPE with each other, enabling us to accomplish what we could not do on our own -- stop using marijuana.
You are not alone.
Who is Marijuana Anonymous?
MA is made up of thousands of men and women, from their early teens into their 70's. We come from all walks of life, races and religions.
We are people who share similar experiences and feelings.
MA is a 12-step program which began in California in 1986. It has grown into an international fellowship, reaching across the U.S. and as far as England, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
You are welcome in MA regardless of your means, use of other drugs or alcohol, emotional difficulties, or any other outside circumstances.
While MA meetings are often held in church community rooms, we are not affiliated with any sect or religion.
We are here to help.