Step One

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

With the First Step we begin the recovery process. Working this step enables us to move forward through the Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous. We may now find it useful to carefully examine some of our old beliefs, ideas, thoughts, and behaviors.

Step One is about honesty, our most helpful ally to a successful Step One. With the practice of this principle, we can face the reality of our addiction.

Step One is about admitting that we are powerless over marijuana, and that our lives have become unmanageable. We suggest exploring the following questions, and writing out your answers, allowing for reflection, discovery, and discussion with your sponsor.

Getting Started:

  • Begin reading LIFE WITH HOPE through Step One. Note passages that are meaningful to you and statements or words that you don't understand.
  • Look up dictionary definitions of the words you didn't understand.
  • Look up the words powerless and unmanageable in the dictionary, and then write what these words mean to you. Review Step One with your sponsor or a trusted fellow MA member.

Write A History Of Your Marijuana Use:

Write a history of your marijuana use. Detail your experiences. Ask yourself the following:

  • What early life experiences led me to using?
  • How did I feel the first time I used?
  • What were my feelings over time as I continued to use?
  • Did marijuana turn on me, and if so, when?
  • Describe your life during your last 60 days of using.
  • What brought me to Marijuana Anonymous?


Answer the following questions and review them with your sponsor:

Recall Experiences In Which You Were Powerless Over Your Marijuana Use:

  • How did I try to control my using?
  • How did my marijuana use keep me from realizing my potential?
  • How did my marijuana use keep me from doing what I wanted to do with my life?
  • Do I think I can control other people, places and things?
  • Where in my life am I powerless?
  • Where in my life do I have power?

Explain How Your Life Is Unmanageable:

  • Did I make deals with myself that I was unable to keep?
  • What are some triggers that cause me to crave marijuana?
  • Have I ever experienced confusion, paranoia, and fear associated with my using?
  • Was I withdrawn and isolated?
  • Was I brought to the depths of despair and hopelessness?
  • How was my life unmanageable when I was using? How is it unmanageable today?

Denial, Surrender, Honesty and Acceptance:

  • How have I been living "the fantasy of functionality?"
  • Am I done with the idea of being able to use again?
  • Do I blame the world or others for my problems?
  • What does surrender mean to me?
  • Has my way of life been working for me?
  • Am I still looking for a way to control my using?
  • Am I ready to admit that I am powerless over marijuana and that my life has become unmanageable?


Some say that Step One is the only step we are asked to work "perfectly." Others say we need only work the first half of the step "perfectly." We do that when we admit, accept and surrender to the fact that we are powerless over marijuana.

When we can do that, and accept that our lives have become unmanageable, we are ready for STEP TWO.


© Marijuana Anonymous World Services—Life with Hope 12 Step Workbook. A New Leaf Publications, a division of Marijuana Anonymous World Services, 2009. Print. ISBN 978-0-9765779-1-1

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