About Marijuana Anonymous
Why a separate programme for cannabis addicts?
The addicts that started the first Marijuana Anonymous (MA) meetings didn’t feel comfortable sharing about their problems in the other programmess aimed at chemical dependencies, and in some meetings, they were actually told that they couldn’t share. Eventually a few got enough sobriety (and enough courage) to start their own meetings aimed at their drug of choice, sometimes meeting in their own homes.
The diseases of alcoholism and addiction are the same no matter what the drug of choice, but sometimes the symptoms are different. You can use to go up or come down. Your substance of choice depends upon which way you want to go, and what you’ve been exposed to.
Cannabis is a “high bottom” drug
The early members of MA found that, for the most part, marijuana/cannabis is a “high bottom” drug and they had a hard time identifying with some of the heavier substance abusers who had lost everything they had. Cannabis is also more tranquilizing than some of the speedier drugs and the early recovering pot addicts had a hard time identifying with addicts who used in order to get wired. Cannabis addicts tend to smoke their pot and just sit around and then sit around some more. They usually continue to function and even manage to hold on to their jobs, which sets them apart from many of the other substance abusers.
It is very difficult to go to a meeting and be called a “lightweight” by the other addicts when you are absolutely despondent about what is happening to your life and are trying frantically to get clean. Being told to “Come back when you get a real addiction”, doesn’t help either. Marijuana addicts already have a real addiction.
Who are MA Members?
Members of MA range from addicts who did nothing but marijuana, to addicts who did everything possible and could get off everything else but not cannabis. They needed special meetings aimed at coping with marijuana addiction. Now they have a refuge among people who know that cannabis addiction is nothing to joke about. Our members are aged eighteen to seventy and represent a wide cross section of society.
Where did MA start?
Marijuana Anonymous started in a number of places at almost the same time. It is a programme whose time had come. Some of the original meetings weren’t even called Marijuana Anonymous. There was a Marijuana Smokers Anonymous in Orange County, California, a Marijuana Addicts Anonymous in the San Francisco Bay Area, and two groups called Marijuana Anonymous, one in Los Angeles, and the other in Seattle, Washington. They all came into being around 1986 and 1987 and amalgamated in to one fellowship in 1989.
When did MA start in Ireland?
Meetings of Marijuana Anonymous Ireland began in April 2014.
The primary purpose of Marijuana Anonymous is to help the addict who still suffers. Therefore, public outreach, in the form of education, information, and awareness is an important aspect of our programme. In addition to serving addicts, we welcome interest and inquiries from service providers in all areas including medical, the courts, schools, educators, social workers, counselors – as well as from the general public.
MA is often able to provide speaker panels, comprised of members in recovery. We are not “experts” who lecture on scientific aspects of drug use, nor do we have opinions on controversial issues such as legalisation. Our members speak from personal experience about what it was like in the throes of active addiction, what happened, and what it’s like now that they are in recovery.