Starting a new MA meeting carries with it a number of responsibilities, including:
- Finding a location for the meeting
- Negotiating a weekly or monthly rent for the meeting
- Getting the word out to the surrounding community that an MA meeting is starting
- Attending the meeting each week, at least until it gets off the ground
We can provide you with ideas for all of the above, but the majority of the work is yours to do.
Marijuana Anonymous does not provide liability insurance for individual meetings or events, whether they be considered Independent meetings or are part of a District. Such liability insurance, where required by the hosting facility, must be provided by the meeting or event as part of its self-supporting responsibilities.
You don’t have to be clean and sober for any set length of time to start an MA meeting, but you do need to be clean from marijuana. We also suggest you be sober from alcohol and all other mind altering substances. If you are very newly sober, starting a meeting can be a daunting proposition; especially if there are no other MA meetings in your area. You may want to consider attending other 12 Step meetings to learn more about the program and to build up some sobriety time before you try to start a meeting yourself.
One addict helping another is a fundamental part of our program, so please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. If you have any questions or concerns about starting an MA meeting, please contact the Outreach Trustee.
New Meeting Starter Kit
A starter kit contains everything needed to start a meeting of Marijuana Anonymous…except coffee and marijuana addicts. To request a digital copy of the kit, please complete the Starter Kit Request below. All the information you provide will be kept confidential. You can also order a physical copy from our publishing branch, A New Leaf Publications, here: ANLP site
The New Meeting Starter Kit includes:
- Greeting Letter
- New Meeting Report
- Chip Information Sheet
- Service Manual Chapter 4 Extract (Meeting Formats)
- Service Manual Chapter 13 Extract (Structure of MA)
- ANLP Order Form
- Full Complement of Conference-Approved Literature, single-sided, for use as masters
Welcome to the MA family!
Guidelines For Starting A New Meeting in An Existing District
This section is a set of guidelines for starting a new meeting within an existing district. It suggests how the person wishing to sponsor the new meeting (referred to subsequently as the meeting sponsor), and the district in which the meeting will be held, can work together to bring the meeting into fruition. If a district is asked to help start a meeting that would be outside their geographic area, that district should refer the meeting sponsor to MAWS, to be mentored by the New Meeting Outreach Trustee and the Office Manager. In this case, the meeting would come into being independently, without district affiliation.
For proposed meetings that will become part of an existing district, the following steps are suggested as a plan of action:
- The meeting sponsor finds the meeting place, makes contact with the selected establishment, and negotiates rent. They may have to use their own money for the first month’s rent, keeping the receipt, to be reimbursed by 7th Tradition funds.It should be understood that Marijuana Anonymous does not provide liability insurance for individual meetings or events, whether they be considered Independent meetings or are part of a District. Such liability insurance, where required by the hosting facility, must be provided by the meeting or event as part of its self-supporting responsibilities.
- The meeting sponsor picks a time and day of the week for the meeting to be held. Additionally, they choose the date for the kick-off meeting. It is suggested to choose a time and day of the week in which are no other meetings in the area. This may help reduce conflict with other meetings, and ultimately increase attendance.
- The meeting sponsor creates a flyer. It can be very simple, listing what (new MA meeting), where (name of place and address), and when (day of the week, time and start date). The person may also want to put the Preamble on the flyer, or another excerpt from Conference approved literature.
- The meeting sponsor makes copies of the flyer (at least enough for each of the GSRs) and brings them to the district’s next service committee (DSC) meeting.
If necessary, the meeting sponsor can ask for help on any of the above four items from the district.
The following usually occurs at the next DSC meeting, with the new meeting sponsor in attendance:
- The group decides whether or not to adopt the new meeting into the district. If adopted, the meeting can be added to public information material, such as the phone line, website, or printed meeting schedules.
- Conference approved meeting formats are made available to the meeting sponsor. If the start date of the meeting occurs before the meeting sponsor comes to a DSC meeting, the district can mail it to them. They can also be given a copy of Chapters 4, 5 and 6 of the Service Manual (Formerly Section II, The Structure of the Fellowship of MA), which describes meeting features, and each meeting’s commitment and its suggested guidelines and functions.They can also be guided on other matters such as contacting MAWS, clean and sober requirements for service work, and contacting A New Leaf Publications (from which they may order a MAWS Service Manual and Life with Hope books).
- The person starting the new meeting can pick up free-of-charge pamphlets and A New Leafs to bring to their meeting.
- The district can suggest they elect a permanent GSR (which may be the meeting sponsor until the meeting grows) to return to the DSC meeting the following month.
- The flyers which were created by the meeting sponsor are to be handed out to all GSRs, who will later take them to their respective meetings.
The GSRs can return to their meetings with the new meeting information, making regular announcements about it. Established members throughout the district are encouraged to support the new meeting by attending. Additional support may include “service sponsors,” helping mentor the new secretary or others, especially if the new meeting sponsor is in early recovery.
For meetings that are at least one month old, and still struggling financially, you may be eligible for a Care Pack from the Outreach Committee. Depending on what is needed, a Care Pack can include a copy of the MA Service Manual, one (1) Life With Hope book, one (1) Life With Hope workbook, a selection of pre-printed brochures, and various plastic recovery tokens ranging from 1 Day to 90 Days. Please contact our Outreach Trustee if your meeting is in need of a Care Pack.