What is a Group Inventory?

“A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke”

from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 64

Many groups, meetings, districts, and service committees periodically hold a “group inventory meeting” – using one meeting annually for a rigorously honest and fearless discussion of the group’s strengths and weaknesses. Groups take this meeting to evaluate how well they are fulfilling our primary purpose: to help carry the message of recovery to marijuana addicts. Some groups take inventory by examining our Twelve Traditions, one at a time, to determine how well they are living up to each Tradition and its underlying principle. Others may also use and review the Twelve Concepts for Service and/or the Principles behind each of the Twelve Steps.

About Group Problems

Group problems are often evidence of a healthy, desirable diversity of opinion among the group members. They give us a chance, in the words of Step Twelve, to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” 

Group problems may include such common MA questions as: 

  • How can we boost attendance at meetings? 
  • How can we get more people to help with group service? 
  • How can we as a group make sure all members feel welcome and safe in our meeting? 
  • What can we do to make sure our virtual or in-person meeting is accessible to all marijuana addicts (by using Live Transcription/captions in Zoom, ensuring the meeting facilities have adequate space for mobility aids and don’t require the use of stairs)
  • What can we do about members who frequently relapse or slip?
  •  What can we do about a member’s financial or romantic interest in another uninterested member? 
  • What can we do about misuse of the phone list?
  • How can we get out from under long-time members who insist they know what’s best for the group, without regard for the opinions of newer members? 
  • And how can we get more long-timer members in our Group to be of service, especially sharing their experience in resolving group dilemmas? 
  • How can we get more connected with the District or Region? World Services? How can we get more group members interested in service at the DSC or World Services? How can we get our District delegate to remain active throughout their one-year term so we can get information all year.

Almost every group problem has a resolution, which usually can be reached through the mechanism of an informed group conscience. Importantly, a good sense of humor, placing principles before personalities, cooling-off periods, patience, courtesy, willingness to listen and to wait-plus a sense of fairness and trust in a “Power greater than ourselves” – have been found far more effective than legalistic arguments or personal accusations.

Many groups have found that holding a group inventory perked up their member’s activity in MA and made sobriety more exciting and enjoyable — besides getting the message to more marijuana addicts.

Additional Resources:

For more information and suggestions about conducting a Group Inventory review this document:  MA12.org/Group-Inventory

Looking for support? Contact: [email protected]