Life with Hope

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


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The only requirement for membership
is a desire to stop using marijuana.

Tradition Three states that a person is a member if they say they have a desire to stop using marijuana. No matter who you are, where you came from, or what you did, you cannot be denied membership in Marijuana Anonymous. To make any requirement for membership other than a desire to stop using marijuana could mean that some addicts would be denied the gifts the program has to offer.

For many addicts, MA is their last hope for a life free from the insanity of active addiction. We do not want to create any barriers between ourselves and the addict who still suffers. We are not willing to pronounce a death sentence on any of our struggling brothers and sisters just because they may not fit the mold of what we think our group members should be like.

The fact that there are no requirements other than a desire to stop using marijuana is a strength of MA. After all, we learn from each other’s experiences; the more diverse our groups become, the more experiences we have to draw from. We accept young people, senior citizens, criminals, people with mental or physical challenges, and people from all religions, nationalities, races, and different walks of life. No one is excluded from MA.

Tradition Three also means that a person does not have to stop using marijuana before joining the fellowship. The ability to maintain abstinence has no bearing on their


qualification to be a member of Marijuana Anonymous. All who have a desire to stop using marijuana are welcome.

Groups can require a person to be free from all mind-altering substances (including alcohol) for some purposes, such as receiving sobriety chips or speaking at meetings. But membership in MA may not be restricted by any one group. In fact, a person may smoke a joint every night before coming to a meeting and still be able to declare himself or herself a member of MA, so long as they have the desire to stop using marijuana.

Members do not have to prove their desire to stop using marijuana; they only have to express this desire. In fact, the desire to stop using marijuana does not even have to be an honest one. Any desire is sufficient, but some desire is necessary.

We all know people who could benefit from the principles MA has to offer. Many people we know could use a program of recovery in their lives. Sadly, those who need us do not always have the desire to stop using marijuana and never find their way into these rooms. We can bring our addicted friends and loved ones to a meeting if they are willing, but we cannot force them to embrace our way of life. Membership is a personal decision. This decision must be made in the heart of each individual addict.

Because of the freedom of Tradition Three, many newcomers feel immediately that they are trusted, wanted, and loved. We therefore open our doors to any addict who has the simple desire to stop using marijuana, hoping that they can find what we have found in MA.


© 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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