Life with Hope

A Return to living through
the 12 steps and 12 traditions of
Marijuana Anonymous

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TRADITION FIVE

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

The existence of MA depends on the preservation of Tradition Five. The therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel, because only another addict can identify with and offer recovery to a newcomer by sharing experience, strength, and hope. Tradition Five also teaches us that we cannot keep our own recovery unless we give it away. Our own lives and sanity are in jeopardy if we don’t help those who are still sick.

In MA we are not interested in making a profit, selling some “get well quick” scheme, or educating anyone about the horrors of addiction. We are only interested in helping ourselves and the addict who still suffers. Once a newcomer realizes that we have no ulterior motive, they begin to trust the members of the fellowship, and the process of recovery can begin.

In MA we create an atmosphere to best serve our primary purpose: to carry the message to the marijuana addict who still suffers. In carrying the message to newcomers, we should not get carried away with controlling their behavior. If we try to control the newcomer, we dilute the message of recovery. Putting requirements on newcomers is also a violation of Tradition Three: “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana.”

When many of us came into MA we were met with love and acceptance by our fellow addicts. We found a

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place where we belonged—now we offer the same sense of belonging to other newcomers. The newcomer is the most important person in our fellowship. Sometimes when we go to a meeting we know everyone and get caught up in the laughter and fun. We have all made good friends and wouldn’t trade that warmth for any price. But we must not forget to welcome the newcomer or out-of-town visitor who is sitting alone.

MA is not a social organization. Getting together for activities such as dancing, swimming, bowling, hiking, or playing golf is fine as long as we do not place these special interests before our primary purpose of carrying the message of recovery. Therefore, it is a good idea to couple a social function with some type of recovery-oriented event such as a speaker meeting or workshop.

Our fellowship will always be safe if our main interest in attending MA meetings is to recover from addiction and help others recover as well. In this way MA will maintain an atmosphere of recovery where addicts can get together to share experience, strength, and hope. That is what we are looking for when we go to a meeting. Drugalogues, talks that glorify drug use, may be interesting, but they tend to carry the mess rather than the message. How we got into MA and stayed here by practicing the Twelve Steps is the real message of recovery. Our message is one of hope and promise that any addict can stop using marijuana, lose the obsession and desire to do so, and find a new way of life by following spiritual principles one day at a time.

Our primary purpose is to carry our message to the marijuana addict who still suffers. What we share at a

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meeting can either contribute to this effort or detract from it. The choice is ours.

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© Marijuana Anonymous World Services, Inc. Life with Hope: A return to living through the twelve steps and twelve traditions of Marijuana Anonymous. Van Nuys: A New Leaf Publications, 2001. Print. ISBN-10 0-9765779-0-9 ISBN-13 978-0-9765779-0-4

 

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