FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you have to believe in God to quit smoking marijuana?
A: This quote from Marijuana Anonymous’ book Life with Hope, page 7 (Step Two) sheds light on this question:
It is not necessary to acquire a major God Consciousness to be able to cease using. All we need is to maintain an open mind and a hopeful heart. It is not necessary to say yes. It is, however, important to stop saying no. Observe the reality around you and the recovery taking place within MA. One only has to stop fighting. Higher Power means different things to different people. To some of us, it is a God of an organized religion; to others, it is a state of being commonly called spirituality. Some of us believe in no deity; a Higher Power may be the strength gained from being a part of, and caring for, a community of others. There is room in MA for all beliefs. We do not proselytize any particular view or religion. In MA each of us discovers a spirit of humility and tolerance, and each of us finds a Higher Power that works for us.
Q: What is the effect of marijuana on pregnancy?
A: Marijuana Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues including medical advice or opinions. MA does not know what effect marijuana may have on pregnancy. Some members may have more experience in that area than others, but no more so than the general population. That is a medical question best answered by medical professionals.
Q: What physical side effects does the use of marijuana cause?
A: The MA pamphlet Detoxing from Marijuana does not contain medically based knowledge, but empirical knowledge based on the experiences of many MA members who took the time to fill out extensive questionnaires regarding their own early days of abstinence from their drug of choice. This pamphlet should answer most of your questions on common physical side effects.
Q: Why do I need MA to quit using marijuana?
A: Maybe you don’t. From the Preamble to Marijuana Anonymous’ book, Life with Hope:
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.
If you haven’t crossed over the line from using to abusing to addiction, you can probably quit using it any time you’d like. Marijuana Anonymous is for those of us who crossed over that line into addiction and for whom “just saying no” is no longer an option. We need more than just will power to refrain from using. We need the help of other addicts who understand our problem. If you are an addict we are here to help you.
Q: How can there be marijuana addicts if marijuana is not addicting?
A: From Marijuana Anonymous’ book, Life with Hope, page xv (Who is a Marijuana Addict?):
We who are marijuana addicts know the answer to this question. Marijuana controls our lives! We lose interest in all else; our dreams go up in smoke. Ours is a progressive illness often leading us to addictions to other drugs, including alcohol. Our lives, our thinking, and our desires center around marijuana—scoring it, dealing it, and finding ways to stay high.
Based on our own experiences, we who seek recovery in MA generally consider ourselves to be marijuana addicts. Whether or not our addiction is psychological, physical, or both, matters little. When it comes to the use of marijuana, we have lost the power of choice. It is strictly up to the individual to decide whether he or she feels addicted to marijuana. MA has no opinion about marijuana itself one way or another. Marijuana Anonymous exists solely to provide a means of recovery to the suffering addict who seeks help.
Q: What is MA’s opinion on the legalization of marijuana?
A: The Tenth Tradition of Marijuana Anonymous states:
Marijuana Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the MA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
This tradition protects the integrity of the organization. From Marijuana Anonymous’ book Life with Hope, page 93:
Anything that can disrupt our unity, and interfere with our primary purpose of carrying the message to the marijuana addict who still suffers, should be avoided.
Therefore, MA has no opinion about the legalization of marijuana.
Q: Can you provide any information that will help me convince my child (spouse, friend, parent, etc.) to quit using marijuana?
A: You can find most of our literature on this website. It explains who we are and how our program works. However, it is unlikely that literature alone will convince someone to quit using. A person cannot be forced or nagged or prodded into recovery; they must come to the realization on their own that they are an addict and powerless over marijuana. No chart, graph, or stack of pamphlets and books can convince someone that they have a problem if they themselves are unwilling to admit it. Willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty are vital components of a successful recovery program. These essential traits are not something a person can be “convinced” to possess; they can only come from within. See the MA pamphlet For the Loved Ones of Marijuana Addicts for more information.