The meeting or group is the primary structure in MA. A meeting or group consists of two or more marijuana addicts who meet on a regular basis. Groups are fully self-supporting, and remain so by passing the basket each time they meet. The funds necessary to sustain each meeting are contributed from the members of that meeting, and not from outside sources. This collection of monies is commonly referred to as "the seventh tradition", since it fulfills that Tradition. Meetings have no outside affiliations and no opinions on outside issues. Each meeting/group reads the MA Preamble and the MA version of "How It Works". Each meeting is autonomous; however, compliance with each of the Twelve Traditions is vital for all meetings.
A "group conscience" is basically a vote which reflects the consensus of the group on any matter brought before the group. Through an informed group conscience, the meeting/group elects a General Service Representative (GSR). The GSR is the link between the meeting/group and district levels of the inverted pyramid. The job of the GSR is to represent the group conscience to the district, reporting the group's wishes and ideas. The GSR also brings news of district and MAWS activities back to the group. GSRs may later serve on District Committees to help their district.
The group secretary, can add vitality and direction to the meeting. MAWS suggests a minimum of six months continuous clean time to serve as secretary. Length of term is usually six months.
Typical responsibilities of the secretary include:
- Always be on time (at least 10 minutes before meeting begins).
- Make sure the meeting begins and ends on time.
- Pick a leader/speaker/chairperson for the meeting.
- Make sure all service commitments are filled.
- Make sure a business meeting is held once a month.
- Provide time for the GSR, committee reports, and any other MA announcements.
- Provide GSR with any changes of meeting time, format, etc., to take to DSC
- Meeting for changes in the schedule.
- Fill out meeting record sheet (Chapter 4).
- Keep meeting format notebook and meeting records.
The group treasurer is the custodian and disburser of monies received via group collections, and as indicated in the 7th Tradition, accepting money only from MA members. Suggested clean time is six months to serve. Suggested length of MA SERVICE term is six months.
Typical responsibilities of the treasurer include:
- Collect the 7th Tradition from the group.
- Keep a detailed accounting of the group financial position (Chapter 4).
- Keep the group funds. (Traditionally, groups do not accumulate funds beyond current expenses and retaining a prudent reserve of one month's expenses.)
- Pay the rent for the meeting place. (As indicated by our 7th Tradition, some kind of rent should be paid, if only a token.)
- Pay for refreshments and supplies.
- Disburse money to purchase chips and MA literature.
- Stay after meeting to collect money from the sale of literature (sold at cost).
- Keep track of chips needed to be ordered from the DSC, if the meeting has no chip person.
- Forward contribution to district office. (Local groups generally accept the 75/25 plan as recommended by the DSC, contributing 75% of the excess funds to the local district, and 25% to the World Service organization.)
- Keep the meeting records, if the secretary does not.
The typical responsibilities of the Literature person are:
- Always be on time (preferably at least 10 minutes before the meeting begins).
- Keep MA literature available, and separate from non-approved literature.
- Give literature report telling members what literature is available.
- Set up "Newcomer Packets" with MA pamphlets, schedules, and flyers, and make sure newcomers get what they need.
- Replenish the literature as needed.
The typical responsibilities of the Refreshments/Coffee person are:
- Always be on time (at least 10 minutes before meeting begins).
- Buy (or make, if desired) and bring refreshments, coffee, etc.
- Keep refreshment costs within reason.
The typical responsibility of the chip person is to hand out chips at the meeting and replenish the supply as needed.
Many groups feel that a Steering Committee is essential to the welfare and growth of the meeting. The committee is usually made up of past officers and concerned members. The committee represents a cross-section of the group, and its chief function is to advise and aid selected trusted servants in business and policy matters for the meeting.
Group service refers to all MA service work whose purpose is the maintenance and preservation of MA's unified identity and presence. Group service necessarily involves activities and decisions that are responsive to the group conscience of all MA groups. To accomplish group service, each MA group chooses a Group Service Representative and an alternate. The GSR represents the voice of the group conscience, reporting the group's wishes and ideas to the District Service Committee Meeting. The GSR also reports DSC Meeting activities back to the group. The GSR needs the confidence of the group, and should have a good ear for listening. The GSR is in the position to determine the conscience of the group, and is the voice for communicating the group's conscience to the rest of MA. The GSR has the job of linking his or her group with the local district and MA as a whole. After a few months of service, the GSR should also be on one of the district committees to help serve MA as a whole. It is from this group of trusted servants that the MA Delegates are usually selected. Suggested clean time is six months to serve as a GSR.
Length of term is one year.
Typical responsibilities of the GSR include:
- Report the group's wishes to the monthly DSC Meeting and to the Delegates to the MAWS Conference.
- Should attend the monthly DSC Meeting, take notes, and report back to the group, keeping the group well informed about MA.
- Report to the group the minutes of trustee conference calls, MAWS financial reports and minutes of the Conference, as well as district business and activities.
- Keep report concise. This is not the place for opinions, those should be discussed at the group's business meetings.
- Confirm and/or take the group donations from the group's treasurer to the DSC Meeting.
- Confirm that adequate supplies of chips and MA literature are available for the group.
- Act as a "service sponsor" for the incoming GSRs when term is done.
- Make certain that the alternate GSR attends the DSC Meeting in the event the GSR can not attend.