Life with Hope

A Return to Living Through
the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of
Marijuana Anonymous


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Our common welfare should come first;
personal recovery depends on MA unity.

The MA society consists of groups of recovering addicts and others with a desire to stop using marijuana. We are people who share similar experiences and feelings. The concept of unity, and all that it stands for, helps preserve the fellowship.

Unity should not be confused with uniformity. Unity stems from our common purpose to stay clean and sober and to help others recover, not from uniform standards imposed on the group by a few well-meaning members. A group that has unity from the hearts of its members allows each addict to carry the message of recovery in their own unique way.

However, even though the individual members are important to the group, experience shows us that they learn to conform to the spiritual principles of the program in order to recover. Our lives depend on living by spiritual principles; this is what the unity of the program offers. It wasn’t until we came to MA and accepted these spiritual principles that recovery became possible. This program did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

We cannot keep the gifts the program has given us unless we give them away to others. We share our experiences and learn from each other. None of us can


survive, and the fellowship cannot endure, unless we carry the message of recovery. We have found that those who keep coming back to the fellowship have a better chance of staying clean and sober. Those who stop coming to meetings face a rough and lonely road.

We are often called upon to make personal sacrifices to preserve the fellowship. The group must survive, or the individuals may not. Our personal recovery and the growth of MA are contingent upon maintaining an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings. After all, we all have the same goals—to stop our self-destructive behavior and to stay clean and sober. We become willing to help our group deal constructively with conflict. As group members, we strive to work out difficulties openly, honestly, and fairly, and we seek to promote the common welfare of all members rather than a personal agenda. Each of us takes into consideration the effect our actions might have on newcomers.

Ideally, members are concerned with the preservation of individual meetings, meetings with the preservation of the district, and districts with the preservation of MA as a whole. Thus, we safeguard our unity by electing a representative to serve at the district level. The local areas then elect delegates to World Services so that the group conscience everywhere can be unified. Unity prevails, as God’s will works through our members.

This is not to suggest that we always agree on everything. After all, whenever people get together there are bound to be differences of opinion. However, we can disagree without being disagreeable. In this way, we have often seen members who vehemently disagree pull together to reach out to a newcomer seeking help. We have learned to set aside our differences for the common good.


© Marijuana Anonymous World Services—Life with Hope: A return to living through the 12 steps and 12 traditions of Marijuana Anonymous. A New Leaf Publications, a division of Marijuana Anonymous World Services, 2001. Print. ISBN 978-0-9765779-0-4

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