About Marijuana Anonymous

About Marijuana Anonymous

Marijuana Anonymous Logo
Marijuana Anonymous Logo

Marijuana Anonymous (sometimes abbreviated MA) is both the name of an organization and a program.  The organization was formed in June 1989.  According to the organization’s mission statement, it is a community of people whose goal is to help themselves and others to recover from marijuana addiction.

The Marijuana Anonymous program borrows many concepts from Alcoholics Anonymous; the Marijuana Anonymous program is also a twelve step program that closely parallels its Alcoholics Anonymous counterpart.  Additionally Marijuana Anonymous outlines a set of twelve traditions that are a fundamental part of its program, which are based on the twelve traditions that are integral to the Alcoholics Anonymous.

As is the case with AA, many of the concepts of the Marijuana Anonymous program are recorded in a book; the book is titled “Life with Hope,” and was first published in 2001.

Because the twelve steps in their original form reference a religious higher power, and because there are a variety of contemporary controversies related to marijuana, its legality, and whether it is physically addicting, the Marijuana Anonymous organization is required to take standpoints on a variety of issues.

The Politics of the Organization

A Medallion

Although the program depends on the twelve steps, including the part that reference a higher power, Marijuana Anonymous is important to be clear that their program is open to both religious and non-religious interpretations of the steps; for some of their members, the higher power referenced may be a group of people or a form of inner strength.

In general, the Marijuana Anonymous organization attempts to stay neutral and avoid taking a side on outside issues.  As such, the organization has no official opinion on whether or not marijuana should be legalized.

Another common controversy revolving around marijuana is the question as to whether or not it is physically addicting; it is more difficult for the organization to remain completely neutral on this subject, since the entirety of their program revolves around recovering from marijuana addiction. Moreover, some Marijuana Anonymous literature documents physical side effects caused by the use of marijuana.

However, in order to maintain as neutral as possible on outside issues, the organization states officially that their literature is not to be considered scientific or medical documentation, and that their opinions on marijuana addiction and marijuana’s addictiveness are based on the subjective and personal experiences of their members, not on scientific or medical research.

Works Cited

"Frequently Asked Questions." Marijuana Anonymous. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2016. <https://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/how-it-works/faq>.

Life with Hope: A Return to Living through the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Marijuana Anonymous. Van Nuys, CA: Marijuana Anonymous, 2001. Print.

--John Mckee

May 12, 2016