Frequently Asked Questions On Cannabis Addiction


Q: What physical side effects does cannabis addiction cause?

A: Our page on Detoxing from Cannabis 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 should answer most of your questions on common physical side effects.

Q: Do I need MA to quit using cannabis – am I really a cannabis addict?

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 cannabis 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: Can you provide any information that will help me convince my child (spouse, friend, parent, etc.) to quit using cannabis?

A: You can find most of our literature on the USA website. It explains who we are and how our programme works. However, it is unlikely that literature alone will convince someone to stop using cannabis. A person cannot be forced or nagged or prodded into recovery; they must come to the realisation on their own that they are a canabis addict and powerless over cannabis. See the MA pamphlet For the Loved Ones of Marijuana Addicts for more information.

Q: Do you have to believe in God to quit smoking cannabis with MA?

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 MA’s opinion on the legalisation of cannabis?

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 legalisation of cannabis.

Information with kind permission from Marijuana Anonymous World Services