In June of 1989, delegates from Marijuana Smokers Anonymous (Orange County, California), Marijuana Addicts Anonymous (the San Francisco Bay area), and Marijuana Anonymous (Los Angeles County) met to establish a unified Twelve Step recovery program for marijuana addicts. A smaller Marijuana Anonymous group in Seattle had been unable to send delegates because of the cost, and another small Marijuana Addicts Anonymous group, in New York, was heard from later. That first conference was held in a crowded motel room halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, in Morro Bay.
Until unification at the first conference, Marijuana Anonymous, Marijuana Smokers Anonymous, and Marijuana Addicts Anonymous were three distinct organizations. They had only recently begun hearing about the existence of each other, although the oldest fellowship was three years old. Each group was apprehensive, worried that the others would not see things as they did. Were they all Twelve Step programs? Did they all work the same kind of program? Did they follow the Twelve Traditions? Even the body language of the delegates at that first small conference revealed these conflicts and concerns.