It’s Just Pot, Right? Origin of Mar-Anon

The winter of 2015-2016 was the worst of the abuse.  My qualifier, my spouse, became increasingly abusive towards me and my children, both verbally and physically.  I was clueless he had an addiction.  It’s just pot, right? He would smoke first thing in the morning, in his car when he got to work, in the bathroom at work, in his car on lunch break, in the car when he got back to work, again in the bathroom, on the drive home. He would rage at me and the family when he came in from the garage, then upstairs to smoke, then emerge happy not understanding why everyone was so on edge. He would leave us while he went up to smoke for the rest of the night, falling asleep in his chair and then waking himself up to smoke before he went to bed.  He’d smoke with the kids in the car.  I didn’t know he had an addiction.  It’s just pot, right?

My life was confusing, terrifying. I was living with Jekyll and Hyde. Then one day he had a moment where he admitted he had a problem.  He went sober in April of 2016 and began attending Marijuana Anonymous meetings.

I started attending Al-Anon.  I was hesitant that they wouldn’t accept me or take me seriously because my qualifier was addicted to marijuana.  I would speak of my experience and tried to blend-in by not mentioning my qualifier wasn’t an alcoholic. Eventually, it would come up and although I felt supported, there was just something missing. You see, addiction-related behavior has commonalities but each has its own unique characteristics.  There are pieces of the experience with a marijuana-addicted qualifier that just aren’t found in Al-Anon.

I reached out to Marijuana Anonymous. Is there a group for loved ones?  Are there meetings? They’d only heard of a group of women in California many years prior around 1993 that started a meeting and it died on the vine.  However Marijuana Anonymous did create a logo and said “Here you go, maybe you can use it. Oh, and here is another person who reached out that might be interested. And…”

My father taught me to “pick from the cherry tree of life.”  I figured, why not?  I created an outreach email, took calls from hurting souls who just needed someone to listen and finally understand, ran a weekly chat meeting, set up a Google forum and co-ran a weekly email meeting.  I meshed together MA and Al-Anon’s 12 steps and got them approved by Al-Anon.  I attended the Marijuana Anonymous convention in Seattle that winter, made flyers and finally a real in-person meeting.

Mar-Anon is now spreading its wings and helping thousands of others. The need is there. We are not alone. It is beautiful and I am full of gratitude.

-Brooke D.


From Pot smoking to…Mar-Anon Family Groups

After smoking pot in the 1970s and experiencing my son’s severe THC addiction many years later, I finally found Mar-Anon. I was surfing the internet the summer of 2020 and came across I emailed Brooke with some questions and, long story short, I started my first Mar-Anon zoom meeting.  I am so grateful that Brooke had the faith and strength to create: a website, outreach email, weekly chat and co-run a weekly email meeting! 

Finally, I found people in a support group that didn’t say stuff like, “It’s Just Pot.”

I started zoom meetings in October 2020. After doing my best, as a low-tech guy, trying to zoom my way through the meetings, Aubree came to the rescue. She used her Experience, Strength, and Hope and lifted Mar-Anon to a new level including supporting our members, social media accounts and leading committees. Then Tracy came aboard helping with back-end administration with filing incorporation documentation, operations, 501(c)(3) approval, website, google group, bylaws and email. 

Today we have more members reaching out and helping out. We also have a great relationship with our sibling fellowship, Marijuana Anonymous. We now have over 1050 members and six meetings a week.

We are, no longer, alone! 

-Bart B.
October 2022