How It Works
• The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous
• The Twelve Questions of Marijuana Anonymous
• About Sponsorship
• The Twelve Traditions of Marijuana Anonymous
• An Understanding of The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous
 


The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous

The practice of rigorous honesty, of opening our hearts and minds, and the willingness to go to any lengths to have a spiritual awakening are essential to our recovery. Our old ideas and ways of life no longer work for us. Our suffering shows us that we need to let go absolutely. We surrender ourselves to a Power greater than ourselves. Here are the steps we take which are suggested for recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over marijuana, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Do not be discouraged; none of us are saints. Our program is not easy, but it is simple. We strive for progress, not perfection. Our experiences, before and after we entered recovery, teach us three important ideas:

  • That we are marijuana addicts and cannot manage our own lives;
  • That probably no human power can relieve our addiction; and
  • That our Higher Power can and will if sought.

For a fuller understanding of the 12 Steps it is suggested that you attend meetings – in person, online or by telephone – read or listen to the MA book, Life with Hope, work with a sponsor and read our pamphlets, including Working the Program.

 


The Twelve Questions of Marijuana Anonymous

The following questions may help you determine whether marijuana is a problem in your life.

  1. Has using marijuana stopped being fun?
  2. Do you ever get high alone?
  3. Is it hard for you to imagine a life without marijuana?
  4. Do you find that your friends are determined by your marijuana use?
  5. Do you use marijuana to avoid dealing with your problems or to cope with your feelings?
  6. Has your marijuana use led to financial difficulties and/or legal consequences?
  7. Does your marijuana use let you live in a privately defined world?
  8. Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your use of marijuana?
  9. Has your use of marijuana caused problems with your health, memory, concentration, or motivation?
  10. When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
  11. Do you plan your life around your marijuana use?
  12. 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.

If you have a desire to stop using marijuana, you are in the right place. To get started, take a look at the MA pamphlets, For The Newcomer and Detoxing from Marijuana. Learn about what you can expect by reading, The MA Meeting and the Home Group. Then find an in-person meeting, attend one by phone or online. We are all here to help.

 


About Sponsorship

What Is sponsorship?
Sponsorship is one recovering person talking to another recovering person. Through sharing, both individuals enrich their lives. The sponsor and the sponsee meet as equals, attend meetings regularly together, discuss recovery issues, work the steps, and work the program.

For the newcomer, a sponsor is a special person with whom he or she can discuss problems, ask questions, and through whom he or she can gain an understanding of recovery through the 12-step programs.

Is a sponsor required?
No. Sponsorship is an important, valuable aid in recovery, but it is not required.

Is it important to have a sponsor?

Yes. A relationship with a sponsor is an important tool in recovery. It is often the beginning of the development of an ability to trust others and communicate effectively. Having frequent, close contact with another member of the program provides an opportunity to deal with issues in private that one might not be willing to raise in front of the group.

How does one get a sponsor?
The usual way is to ask a person to sponsor you who has some of the personal and recovery attributes that you admire. It helps if the potential sponsor has been clean and sober long enough to have worked the steps of recovery. In order to select a sponsor, it is best to attend as many meetings as possible to widen your exposure to recovering persons. There are no specific rules for choosing a sponsor, but an individual who is living life successfully and happily might be worth considering. If you are having a hard time finding a sponsor, Request a Remote Sponsor.

How can I overcome shyness, procrastination, or the fear of imposing myself on another in selecting a sponsor?
Getting a sponsor is not like getting married; there is no long-term commitment. One can ask a person to be an interim sponsor, that is a temporary sponsor, and see how the relationship develops. It is important to get beyond our fears of asking other people for help. It is indeed an honor for a person to be asked to be a sponsor. We are not burdening others with our problems and fears of doing so should not be used as an excuse to avoid making a commitment.

Should a sponsor be of the same gender?
Yes. In most cases this works best because it reduces the chances of emotional involvement and family complications that might arise. Often, the same-sex sponsor will better understand our gender-related issues.

What if I want to change sponsor?
Then do so. If you feel a different person can better enhance your recovery, then it is good form to gently let your current sponsor know that you want to utilize the particular experience of another person and that you will be changing sponsors. This is frequently done in 12-step programs and many “long-timers” have had several different sponsors.

How often should I contact my sponsor?
This is up to you and your sponsor. Many sponsors ask newcomers to call them daily for the first month or two. If your sponsor is away or can’t be reached it is wise to call other members of the program. It is a good idea to call several people regularly in any case.

Must I do anything a sponsor asks or agree with whatever a sponsor says?
No. If clarification is needed or disagreements emerge, then they should be discussed openly between the parties involved. Your recovery is your responsibility. You would be wise to heed your sponsor or get another sponsor with whom you can work. There is no rank in the program and the relationship between you and your sponsor is one of trust and shared experiences.


On Being a Sponsor

If we agree to be someone’s sponsor it doesn’t mean we take responsibility for that person or for their sobriety and recovery. It is a two-way relationship based upon mutual respect and the principles of the program.

Who can be a sponsor?
Any member of the MA program or another 12-step program who is recovering from chemical dependency can be a sponsor.

When should I consider myself ready to sponsor another?
Whenever you feel ready to share what you have. Usually, it helps to have enough sobriety so that you have worked the steps and have some “experience, strength, and hope” to share. If you possess a willingness to spend time and effort with a person, to be patient, and to share your experience with recovery, then you are probably ready to become a sponsor.

How do I become a sponsor?
Usually, one waits to be asked or simply announces one’s availability for such a commitment at a meeting.

Must I sponsor someone if asked?
No. There are no such obligations in 12-step programs. If you are not comfortable in sponsoring someone, it is important to politely refuse and to encourage them to ask others. However, most members do sponsor if they are able to, because of the many benefits sponsorship provides.

What is the proper approach to sponsorship?
There is no “proper” approach. Each sponsor is free to work the way their experience dictates. Some sponsors are direct and others are more casual. Some outline the program as they see it, while others allow the newcomer to find their own way, guiding only when asked. Many use their experience with their own sponsors as a starting point on which to build. Each sponsor will be different and some approaches will fail. A sponsor is not responsible for anyone’s sobriety but his or her own.

How does sponsorship help the sponsor?
The communication and mutual sharing that occurs helps both the sponsor and the sponsee. The sponsor’s own understanding of the program will be deepened. It is not unusual for the sponsor to be focused back to the basic principles of the program and to working the steps and communicating with their own sponsor.

How many people can a sponsor work with?
Only you can answer this question. Different people have different amounts of time and energy to apply to the program. However, caution needs to be exercised to avoid becoming overcommitted. Because sponsorship is a special relationship between two recovering people, there is a limit to the number of people with which this type of relationship can be maintained. Excessive sponsorship can sometimes lead to grandiosity, restrict your ability to work your own program, and threaten your serenity.

What do I do if a person I sponsor doesn’t want help?
Not much. Offer your willingness to help when it is desired. It is futile to force unwanted advice and help onto another. Sometimes a sponsor experiences the anger of the sponsee. If they stay close to the program and their own sponsor, they can usually deal with this anger without damage to themselves or the relationship.

How can I stop sponsoring someone?
Simply by taking the responsibility of stating that you no longer can sponsor that person. It is important to say why and to offer to be in contact if possible. If it is an issue affecting the sponsor’s program and serenity, he should seek the counsel of other program members and of his own sponsor before dealing with the newcomer. Many times a sponsor releases a sponsee to allow that person to move on in recovery with a different sponsor who is more attuned to what is going on in the sponsee’s life.

Some suggested Do’s of sponsorship

  • Present an example of how the program is working in your life.
  • Encourage meeting attendance.
  • Introduce the newcomer to others in the program.
  • Help the newcomer to understand the 12-step literature.
  • Urge the newcomer to take an active role in his or her recovery.
  • Share your experience, strength, and hope.

Some suggested Dont’s of sponsorship

  • Avoid being judgmental.
  • Avoid imposing your personal views.
  • Refrain from taking another’s inventory.
  • Don’t make decisions for the newcomer.
  • Don’t pretend to know all the answers.

Above all, remember that the key to the program is fellowship. You are being given a treasured opportunity to participate in your own recovery and in that of another at the same time. Give away freely those things that were given freely to you.

 


The Twelve Traditions of Marijuana Anonymous
  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon M.A. unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority, a loving God whose expression may come through in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or M.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose, to carry its message to the marijuana addict who still suffers.
  6. M.A. groups ought never endorse, finance, or lend the M.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every M.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Marijuana Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. M.A., as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Marijuana Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the M.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based upon attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, t.v., film, and other public media. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow M.A. members.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
 


An Understanding of The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous

We were once asked what was meant by the reference to “these principles” as they are mentioned in our Twelfth Step. After discussing this question, it seemed to us that “These Principles” were something suggested or arrived at by working the Steps. The Steps were the tools to be used to discover the “Principles”. Of course this is a program of action and a personal thing, an individual program, so each person will probably find their own principles for themselves.

After much meditation, we have discovered the following principles have greatly helped us to understand and practice our program. When all these principles are given meaning and purpose through LOVE – LOVE OF GOD, OF OUR FELLOWS, AND RESPECT FOR OURSELVES, then they truly become the heart of our program of MA. With a deep sense of gratitude and the help of a Power greater than ourselves, we can live in emotional and physical sobriety with serenity and comfort one day at a time.

  1. In working the 1st Step, when we “admitted we were powerless over marijuana, that our lives had become unmanageable,” we had at last found the courage to face the truth and tell it; we were practicing the principle of HONESTY.
  2. In working the 2nd Step, when we “came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity,” we were practicing the principle of HOPE.
  3. In working the 3rd Step, when we “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God,” we were practicing the principle of FAITH.
  4. In working the 4th Step, when we “made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves,” we were practicing the principle of COURAGE.
  5. In working the 5th Step, when we “admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” we were practicing the principle of INTEGRITY.
  6. In working the 6th Step, when we “were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character,” we were practicing the principle of WILLINGNESS.
  7. In working the 7th Step, when we “humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings,” we were practicing the principle of HUMILITY.
  8. In working the 8th Step, when we “made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all,” we were practicing the principles of LOVE and FORGIVENESS.
  9. In working the 9th Step, when we “made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others,” we were practicing the principle of JUSTICE.
  10. In working the 10th Step, when we “continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it,” we were practicing the principle of PERSEVERANCE.
  11. In working the 11th Step, when we “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,” we were practicing the principle of SPIRITUAL AWARENESS.
  12. In working the 12th Step, when “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,” we were practicing the principle of SERVICE.


Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction.

Marijuana Anonymous is not affiliated with any religious or secular institution or organization and has no opinion on any outside controversies or causes.
Marijuana Anonymous does not endorse or accept contributions from any outside enterprise.
Copyright © 2020 Marijuana Anonymous. Reprinted by permission. Terms of Service