My Letter to A.A.

​First, I want to thank you for the structure and community you provided me for twenty years, allowing my escape from the ravishes of alcoholism and crack-cocaine addiction.

Now, I find you a suffocating organisation. ​Your first step is a hypocritical broad stroke of intolerance. Your ban on the use of cannabis is as antiquated, ignorant, and biased as your acceptance of nicotine, a constant haze around your tables until our government dragged you kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century.

Furthermore, your standard rebuke and condemnation of anyone expressing a high degree of self-loathing as someone harboring a big ego and low self-esteem is nothing more than the barroom psychology we drunks dispensed during our drinking days. Sometimes, people are trained through abusive parenting to hate themselves, such training is amplified if the parent is successful in his own right while at the  same time berating the child for being weak and worthless. The internalization of such messaging is not a matter of one having a big ego. This is a matter of perspective, and such a viewpoint does not define the totality of the person as does labeling someone as having a big ego. Expressing self-hatred is an occasional voicing from a complex personality. Criticizing a person as having a big ego for sounding pain is a mean-spirited attempt to silence a voice you find disquieting.

​AA and the population at large could benefit by recognizing the spirituality looming within cannabis rather than dismissing the plant solely as a mode of recreation, though its therapeutic value is last-long being appreciated.

When the child​ grows into adulthood and finds cannabis to be an effective means for countering this negative perspective, first you slam the grouser for having a big ego, then forbid him from accessing the substance that best alleviates his suffering. Cannabis can be the catapult for launching a journey into that fourth dimension you speak of as your goal.

If a person mentions cannabis as having sacred properties to any AA member, he is castigated for simply justifying a base desire to get high, and if he nevertheless proceeds to imbibe, and does so secretly, you label him a liar.​ The same is not true for other substances prescribed by a psychiatrist or ​tolerated by your adherents, no matter any adverse effects on the individual.

​Your intolerance of cannabis for being a mind​-altering substance is not consistent with your other practices. Substances deliver information to the consciousness, as do books and foods. What matters is the effect they have on the individual and consequent behavior. To single out cannabis as a baleful entity while accepting a variety of other mind-altering destructive alternatives speaks to your narrow-minded prejudice, and disallows the healing you purport to promote.

In closing, thank you for your design for living, especially for your eleventh step advocacy of meditation. After realizing the fourth dimension, this practice sustains the experience.

Jeff Collins​