Marijuana Anonymous is an organization that seeks to help people who are trying to break free from their addiction to marijuana. The only criteria needed to join Marijuana Anonymous are a desire to stop using the drug. Marijuana Anonymous Overview Marijuana Anonymous was formed in 1989 by members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous who felt that the issue of addiction to marijuana wasn't being taken seriously. They decided to start their own group to help fellow addicts get and stay clean. Philosophy This group sees marijuana addiction as a progressive disease that can lead to other forms of addiction. Through the support of others who share the same addiction, marijuana addicts can stop using the drug and break free from their addiction. Traditions, Steps, and Process The organization is not affiliated with any religious or secular organization, even though the 12 steps that form the basis for the program mention a Higher Power as being key to getting off drugs. Members of a Marijuana Anonymous group need to first admit that they are powerless over their addiction. The 12 steps and the support of other group members are used to guide the addict through his or her recovery and to stay clean one day at a time. Effectiveness: Does Marijuana Anonymous Work? A 12-step program can help someone who admits that they have a problem with addiction and who is ready to stop using. The fact that this type of program to help addicts has been in use for a number of years indicates that it must work for at least some of the people who try it. One of the group's premises is that members are anonymous outside of meetings, and Marijuana Anonymous doesn't publish success rates for public consumption. Controversy and Criticism Marijuana Anonymous does not have an official opinion on outside issues, and does not endorse or support any specific point of view. The organization also does not have an official position about the medical effects of using marijuana. It's not a requirement for members of Marijuana Anonymous to believe in God to join the group or go through the 12 steps; members can interpret the idea of a Higher Power in whatever way makes sense for them. Getting a Sponsor A sponsor in the Marijuana Anonymous program is someone who helps a newer member to the program by offering encouragement and support. They attend meetings together and discuss the issues the newer member is having as he or she moves through the recovery process. Choosing a sponsor is something that the newer member does when they find someone that they feel they can open up to about their addiction. By spending time at meetings and getting to know other members outside of them, the new person can choose the right sponsor for them.