What do you consider an outside issue?

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Re: What do you consider an outside issue?

Postby crazybob » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:56 am

I would like to address this issue in reference to marijuana. I will try to define an outside issue using the 12 traditions: specifically the tenth, discuss our primary purpose and a definition of sobriety, use the 12 steps to try to clarify my position and finally share my experience strength and hope and carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic. https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_tradition10.pdf I would encourage everyone in AA to read the tenth tradition here is the link. Before I elaborate on the tradition itself please allow me to say: AA is a live or let live program we are NOT a temperance movement and do not persuade people to not use alcohol. When I walked into my first AA meeting I was asked if I WANTED to stop drinking and if I wanted what AA members had I would be ready to take certain steps. The tenth tradition addresses public controversy and does not address internal squabbles many of us have witnessed. AA should not confront the issue of medical marijuana, we are not qualified, we should NOT confront whether or not it should be legal, I submit, however, in regard to a person smoking marijuana to get high is certainly not an outside issue. There are AA principles at stake here: The first step, in addition to the desire to stop drinking, involves the issue of manageability. If someone is using marijuana to get high, they are replacing alcohol and should take on the issue of becoming honest with themselves. Thinking I can continue to maintain my sobriety while replacing one high for another is not only dishonest it may be considered insane. The eleventh step concentrates on prayer and meditation to improve our conscience contact with God as we understand him. Clearly fighting over whether God is Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist et cetera is definitely an outside issue. Speaking for myself, the eleventh step gave me the skills to live a life where I was not restless irritable and discontent. Regarding the 12th step, it is beyond my comprehension to think telling a newcomer that marijuana is an outside issue and therefore it is alright to use is NOT wise consul. One definition of sobriety is self restraint and clear thinking. I used marijuana with alcohol for years, without going into detail here, it contributed to my downfall. I smoked pot after my first sobriety attempt and found the one person in the room who told me it was an outside issue and that AA doesn't say I cant do it. I got drunk. I was fortunate to get back to AA and maintain sobriety for over 42 years. I think we should stop ignoring this issue by calling it an outside issue. Thanks, CrazyBob
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Re: What do you consider an outside issue?

Postby PaigeB » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:32 am

Yeah - I would not suggest a marijuana maintenance program, but I think it is IS up to each person to come to their own understanding of what really is HALF MEASURES for their own program. We had a recent thread here talking about how AA serves caffeine, a mind altering drug, at it's meetings. So - LOL, let's not go too far with this whole drug thing. If I was told I HAD to quit cigarettes, I might have been long gone.

One thing I mention though, pot is still illegal. At least it is for now, where I live. This is an extra problem - one that is directly related to living a principled life. But also, there is the draw of the hustle to get it and the "friends" one needs to cooperate with. So Pot, may have it's own little world that takes us CLOSER to the drink. I suppose people who are addicted to prescription pills and maybe those who rationalize near-beers also have secrets.

And maybe after all is said and done, it is our secrets that keep us sick.
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Re: What do you consider an outside issue?

Postby Brock » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:00 pm

Thanks for reviving an older discussion, with your first class reasoning of why marijuana may not be an outside issue. I don’t think anyone would disagree with this -
Regarding the 12th step, it is beyond my comprehension to think telling a newcomer that marijuana is an outside issue and therefore it is alright to use is NOT wise consul.

But if anyone should raise the subject in a meeting, particularly a closed meeting, I expect the chair not to entertain it for discussion, and to say it’s an outside issue, outside of what we discuss in meetings.

I agree that someone smoking to get high, as you say is merely replacing one high for another, we suffer from alcoholism drinking was but a symptom, weed could be another symptom just as easily. And while we should not get involved on the issue of medical marijuana, we have had folks here say they do it for medical reasons. But when we remind them that science has come up with marijuana, which has all the medical benefits without the ‘high,’ they fall silent. I have seen a documentary, where farmers who grew this ‘medical grade’ for those with prescriptions, were going broke, virtually no sales. If any member of AA says they need medical marijuana, and use the kind that gets people high, it’s the high they need not the medicine, and I don’t think they have a right to call themselves ‘sober.’
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Re: What do you consider an outside issue?

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:47 pm

Brock wrote:Thanks for reviving an older discussion, with your first class reasoning of why marijuana may not be an outside issue. I don’t think anyone would disagree with this -
Regarding the 12th step, it is beyond my comprehension to think telling a newcomer that marijuana is an outside issue and therefore it is alright to use is NOT wise consul.



Hmm...

IMO the confusion here is about how / where the Traditions are supposed to work. They make no mention of what I should or shouldn't say to a newcomer 1:1, they're about how the AA Group as a whole conducts itself.

Whether pot's an outside issue to you and your sobriety is a matter between you and your sponsor. It's not my place to sit in an AA meeting telling the cancer patient that they can't use marijuana and still call themselves sober, simply because the addict in the chair next to them never smoked a joint without ending up drunk.

But it's also not my place to tell the addict next to them that they can't talk about how pot led them to drinking. Just so long as they do mention the drinking, not make their share in AA only about the pot.

Why? Because identification is critically important in AA, yet I simply cannot identify with someone's pill-popping, pot-fuelled, snow-blower ways. I'm the idiot who quit Valium when it interfered with drinking. I won't go down that path of "I never smoked a joint, never snorted a line, so maybe I'm not really alcoholic ".

Interesting that we won't comment on temperance which directly relates to alcohol, yet so-often consider a non-alcohol substance to be relevant to sobriety ;)
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