This pamphlet is for those coming to Marijuana Anonymous for the first time. We have tried to answer some of the questions most often asked by newcomers.
Am I a marijuana addict?
If you find it difficult to control your marijuana use, if you think about using marijuana even when you are not, or if you have broken promises to yourself or others about limiting or stopping your use, you may be an addict. Only you can decide. No one in Marijuana Anonymous will decide for you. [See The Twelve Questions of Marijuana Anonymous]
What is Marijuana Anonymous?
We are a group of people who have lost the ability to control our marijuana use and have problems that relate directly or indirectly to marijuana. We share experience, strength, and hope with each other so that we can recover from our addiction to marijuana, as well as help others to recover. Our program is adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
How can MA membership help me with my marijuana use?
In MA, we know what it is like to lose control over marijuana and not be able to stop using, despite pledges, pleas, and promises. Our only qualification for helping others is that we have stopped using ourselves. If we can do it, you can do it too! It is the support that MA members offer each other that is the backbone of the program's success.
If I join MA will I need to stop drinking our using other drugs?
The only requirement for MA membership is a desire to stop using marijuana. We have found, however, that recovery requires us to examine our use of other drugs as well, including alcohol. [See Dangers of Cross Addiction]
What happens at an MA meeting?
People discuss their problems with marijuana, what they did to recover, and what life is like now. We have found that as a group we can achieve for ourselves results which, as individuals, we failed at repeatedly.
What commitments do I make by attending an MA meeting?
None. There are no records or files and you need not disclose anything about yourself if you don't want to. No one will bother you if you do not wish to come back.
What happens if I meet people I know in MA?
Membership in MA is confidential and anonymous. Whom we see and what we hear in meetings is not mentioned outside of the meetings. People you know whom you see at meetings are there for the same reason you are and will respect your anonymity.
How much does MA membership cost?
Nothing. There are no dues or fees. MA meetings pay their bills through the voluntary contributions of those attending. A basket is passed at each meeting for contributions. Marijuana Anonymous is completely self-supporting.
Is MA a religious organization?
No, nor is it connected with any religious organization, sect, denomination, politics, institution, or any other organization whatsoever.
Is there much talk about God?
Most MA members come to believe in the idea of a power greater than themselves. Some call this power God. There is room in MA for all beliefs or no belief at all.
Do MA members continue going to meetings after they are cured?
We don't believe in a cure for marijuana addiction; too many of us have relapsed. We find it is useful to go to meetings to maintain our recovery. By association with others with our problem, we give each other strength to avoid marijuana use on a "one day at a time" basis.
What is the Program of Recovery?
The Twelve Steps are the program. The purpose of the Twelve Steps is to help us develop a relationship with a Power greater than ourselves, to improve our relationships with others, and to help us find serenity in ourselves. It is recommended you attend as many meetings as you can and do not use between meetings. We suggest that you get phone numbers of other members and call them between meetings—especially if you have a desire to use. We also suggest that you get a sponsor as soon as possible.
What is a sponsor and how do I get one?
A sponsor is someone who shares their experience, strength, and hope with you. They will help you understand the 12 Steps and will guide you along the path of recovery. You are free to ask anyone to be your sponsor, but our experience indicates it works best when men sponsor men and women sponsor women.
The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous
- We admitted we were powerless over marijuana, that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to marijuana addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The 12 Questions
The following questions may help you determine whether marijuana is a problem in your life.
- Has smoking pot stopped being fun?
- Do you ever get high alone?
- Is it hard for you to imagine a life without marijuana?
- Do you find that your friends are determined by your marijuana use?
- Do you use marijuana to avoid dealing with your problems?
- Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?
- Does your marijuana use let you live in a privately defined world?
- Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your use of marijuana?
- Has your use of marijuana caused problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
- When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
- Do you plan your life around your marijuana use?
- Have friends or relatives ever complained that your using is damaging your relationship with them?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have a problem with marijuana.
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