April 8, 2020
We extend our continued support to all of you as we make our way through this challenging time
For many of us, life has become strange, surreal, and stressful as we continue to quarantine ourselves and practice social distancing. It can be difficult to find moments of respite and hope. Fortunately, Marijuana Anonymous stands strong and we are able to share our experience, strength, and hope with each other, providing the support that has always been the foundation of our Fellowship.
The Board of Trustees and the Ad-Hoc 2020 Conference Committee have been working diligently to organize the upcoming Online MA World Services Conference and we want to keep the Fellowship informed as progress is made:
- The Conference will be held Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25
- Zoom has been chosen as the online platform
- All Delegates, Trustees, and Observers must register to attend the Conference by May 1st, 2020 at www.mawsconference.org
- The registration fee for all Delegates, Trustees, and Observers attending the Conference is $100.00
- There will be trainings to cover the technical aspects of Zoom and the features we will be utilizing during our Conference, as well as Conference etiquette, including Robert’s Rules of Order, Delegate orientation, and much more. Training sessions will be approximately 1.5 hours long.
- It is mandatory that all Delegates, Trustees, and Observers attend at least one training session
- Trainings are scheduled for:
- Sunday, May 3rd at 1pm PST
- Wednesday, May 6th at 4pm PST
- Saturday, May 9th at 10am PST
- Conference attendees can select which training(s) they would like to attend when registering on the MA World Services Conference website.
- If there are Conference attendees that are still having difficulties with the technical aspects of Zoom after the main trainings, small group and 1-on-1 trainings will be available after May 9th and continue until the Conference begins.
There is concern about the ability of meetings, groups, and districts to gather an informed group conscience on the Agenda Items for the Conference given the limitations of online MA meetings. Some creative solutions include scheduling an additional video or phone meeting dedicated solely to reviewing and voting on the Agenda Items, addressing motions one at a time during or after regular MA meetings, or voting in smaller groups and tallying the results to come up with an overall group conscience. Discuss options with your meeting, group, or district to find what works best for you.
We expect to encounter challenges as we trudge the road of happy destiny, and the challenges we are facing now are extraordinary. However, we will make it through by continuing to trudge together. We recover.
The Marijuana Anonymous Board of Trustees
March 25, 2020:
Maintaining our Life With Hope
We hope that you are all safe and healthy during this very difficult and strange time.
With many of us isolating ourselves and practicing social distancing, MA members, Groups, and Districts have acted swiftly, with ingenuity and creativity, to transition dozens of in-person MA meetings to phone and online platforms. Those of us attending these meetings are able to connect, share, and get the comfort from our Fellows that we have come to rely on.
If you have transitioned a meeting, we can add a note to your meeting information on this website. Please submit meeting change information online using our MA Meeting Information Form or email [email protected].
In consideration of our fellowship’s safety and in balance with the usual business of a nonprofit, the Board of Trustees voted at our last meeting to hold this year’s Annual Business Conference as an entirely remote event.
A few key points:
- The remote conference will be developed with an Ad hoc committee. Once details are finalized, we will disseminate information to you such as platform (WebEx, Zoom, etc.) and what to expect.
- The dates for the conference (Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25) have not changed.
- We will have multiple trainings that are important for those attending, in order to best prepare.
- Group Service Representatives should continue to gather group conscience on agenda items to share with their Conference Delegates.
- All registration fees already paid will be refunded.
- A new lower registration fee will be announced in the coming weeks. The fee will support MA World Services, including videoconferencing costs and money lost on venue cancellation, and, if possible, help cover losses incurred by Districts and Delegates.
- Observers will be allowed to attend this year’s conference, and will have a registration process including fees and deadline.
- Everyone must attend the trainings.
The world is evolving and changing around us, and our plan is in process. At the end of the day, we want to do right by our Fellowship, advance the work of MA, and continue to carry the message of recovery as best we can.
Please stay safe, calm, and connected.
The Marijuana Anonymous Board of Trustees
March 18, 2020:
Marijuana Anonymous World Services has been receiving inquiries about how groups should respond to the COVID-19 (corona virus.) Many of us are understandably concerned with health and safety issues and how to best proceed with our meetings and recovery in the safest way possible.
Providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of what MAWS offers. However, we might suggest contacting your national, state/provincial, and local health authorities for appropriate information.
Please discuss this issue in your meetings and come to a consensus about what changes, if any, your group might implement. Some groups have discussed making changes to customs at their meetings such as avoiding shaking hands, hugging, and handholding for the time being, not passing MA chips around the room, making sure that coffee/food tables are sanitary, or suspending all food and drink at meetings entirely.
Some groups have discussed temporarily closing their in-person meeting altogether. If a meeting does choose to close, it is extremely important to announce the closure at other meetings, on the district or regional website, and through any other means of communication at your disposal. Also, if possible, a note/flyer should be posted at the meeting site explaining the closure.
Consider contingency plans if you do close or meeting locations become unavailable. Plans may include virtual meetings via video or conference call services such as Zoom.us, FreeConferenceCall.com, Google Hangouts, StepChat.com, and InTheRooms.com and staying connected by phone, email and social media.
Each individual is responsible for their own health decisions, regardless of decisions made by a meeting.
Phone and online meetings are available to everyone. Visit MA-Phone.org for information on phone meetings. Visit MA-Online.org to participate in the chat room or online meetings. If you are feeling ill, please consider these options as an alternative to attending a meeting in person.
We know that isolation can be triggering to many addicts. If you are staying away from the groups, please reach out to other fellows and stay connected to our program by phone, email, or social media. If you don’t already have a meeting phone list consider making one, and if you do have one perhaps it could be updated if needed.
As of today, there is no plan to cancel or postpone the MAWS Business Conference in May entirely, although an in-person conference is very unlikely. We are discussing contingency plans and the Board of Trustees will be meeting this coming week to make a decision on how we will proceed.
Please be assured that the health and safety of all our Fellows is of the highest priority. As more information is available to us, we will pass it on to all of you.
Take care of yourselves,
The Marijuana Anonymous World Services Board of Trustees
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