Marijuana Anonymous should remain
forever nonprofessional, but our service centers
may employ special workers
Tradition Eight seeks to insure that MA is not associated with making money from people trying to recover from marijuana addiction. Our members do not get paid for doing Twelfth Step work. The Twelve Steps cannot be sold. We stay nonprofessional so that money and spirituality are kept separate. If we were to charge for recovery, our message would be compromised.
Our program is simply based on one addict helping another. We do not employ doctors, psychiatrists, or other professionals. We are simply addicts of equal status, freely helping each other. This is not to say that individual members cannot carry the MA message in their professions. It would be absurd to think that a doctor, counselor, or clergyman who is also an MA member could not suggest the MA program to a patient or client whom they perceive, in their professional opinion, to have a marijuana problem. Members in these lines of work are not selling the Twelve Steps. There is absolutely nothing wrong with MA making people better at their jobs. In fact, the special knowledge acquired through their own bitter experiences often makes them more effective in their professional lives.
Our fellowship does hire special workers to do jobs that volunteers could not or would not do. These people are not hired to do Twelfth Step work, but are needed to make Twelfth Step work possible. Thus, we may have an office
manager to help do administrative work and coordinate MA business. A clubhouse may hire a custodian or caretaker. These people are paid for the services they perform for MA, not for Twelve Step work. On the other hand, trusted servants of the society are not considered “special workers” and should therefore never be compensated. They can be reimbursed for their expenses, but their services are donated.