Alright, long time ago (probably in 1980 I would say) there was a discussion about the fact that we could not talk about drugs. And so many of us, we were drug addicts and alcoholics, but they frowned upon us saying it; so you have to just slip it in or something like that. Well some people came along, for example Bill Coffey, and he was just livid about the fact that you couldn’t say “methedrine” in an AA meeting, and be comfortable about saying it. So, he complained and complained, and he always raised his hand and all that. I would say, “Bill, we have to have a principle of not being mad at AA and being pissed off because they won’t let us say it. We have to get sober and do what we do.” Well, as time went on, this guy Paul Farmer, who was the Director of the Van Ness Recovery House, came back from vacation and he said he was an alcoholic and a junkie! Well that raised my hopes a lot, because then I knew that at least in that place I could talk about the drugs that I had used. So we did. And he even said when you talk in a meeting don’t talk about it too much. So, I’d learned to do that.
But Bill complained a lot and we would talk. I sponsored Bill. We would talk about it and say, “Yeah, we ought to have a methedrine meeting.” So first thing we did was start a gay NA meeting. So we started a gay NA meeting at Fairfax and Santa Monica upstairs in this church; the MCC Church had a little space. So we did that. About fourteen or fifteen of us started this meeting. And it came off, and we were able to talk about anything. Well NA thought we were violating their principles by having this, and they sent guys to sit in our meeting to judge us. We saw ‘em! But then they saw that we had followed it, the correct thing, we had followed it. So then the straight kids said, “Well, let’s start a straight meeting.” They said, “Come and help us.” So we said, “OK.” We started a straight NA meeting, I think it was “The Real Deal,” something like that. It’s still going on, there was not a lot of mention, well a lot of the kids felt, you know, it was all heroin addicts in NA and they felt uncomfortable about that. And we said, “Yeah, you know, we should have a methedrine meeting.” We kept talking about it. One day, many years later, it was fifteen years later, we did something about it.
We talked about it, and so these kids, Curtis S. and Pete S. and Eli (I think it was Eli) were there. Eli was a newcomer. Pete wasn’t a newcomer. But we got this room at the West Hollywood Drug and Alcohol Center up on Santa Monica. They didn’t have any time to give us. They only could give us 10:15 at night. And we grumbled, but we took it. I remember we got it together. Curtis was really gung-ho! Curtis was really very instrumental in this thing, and Pete, and there were probably other people I can’t remember their names. I do know Eli was there. This girl was there; straight girl was there name Nina. We all did this meeting. We all did the meeting. I led it and, you know, made it happen. And everybody was happy! But we couldn’t call it Methedrine Anonymous. Everybody wanted to call it Meth Anonymous, but we couldn’t because there was already MA, Marijuana Anonymous, unfortunately. So we just decided to call it Crystal Meth Anonymous. Now this is kind of like a division, but not really because we HAVE to use that name. A lot of kids in the United States just use the word “meth”; it was called “meth” all the time. It wasn’t called “crystal meth”, even though it shines and sparkles, but most people call it “meth.”
We started the meeting and it took off. It just took off, and we met every week. It slowly gathered steam and, the next thing you know, there was other meetings started. I think Curtis made up pamphlets and they were all involved; Pete was involved. They got really busy. That was the thing, they got really busy. Technically, Bill and I were just like the elder statesmen because we had more time, and so you know, they would listen to us and follow what we did. I remember when we just got the meeting started we had to figure out what format were we going to use. We said, “You know they are going to talk about sex and get carried away.” So I said, “Let’s write a line in there about that.” So, we wrote a line in there about if you talk about sex the Secretary will stop you, because we knew that it would be a thing. Because a lot of people that use methedrine or crystal meth have a sex problem also. They don’t recognize it as a sex problem; they recognize it only as a crystal meth problem. And unfortunately, they continued to relapse because they haven’t seen that there’s a sex problem in there. The inhibition that crystal gives people is just like the inhibition in any drug. Alcohol does the same thing. All of them do the same thing. The inhibitions are gone away. Well crystal really takes away inhibitions. People get carried away and do it all night long and all day long, and stay up late because they can stay up hours. That was a part in there we wanted to make clear — let’s not get carried away talking about that in a meeting because the meeting can, you know, devolve into nothing, you know.
Then they start another meeting. Well as time went on we would just laugh. Bill and I would laugh. They’d start another meeting. Then we had a Friday night meeting. Then we had meetings everywhere. Oh my goodness, then they started CMA in other parts of the country. We would get word from all over. Bill went down to Atlanta. I went down to Atlanta first. We had a CMA meeting in Atlanta in the AA Convention. And they set aside that; it was packed! Then went to Dallas, told them about it in Dallas. New York. Went to New York and they started in New York and I was sitting there in the meeting in New York. And Ava was like the Grandmother of Crystal Meth. She was a member of AA. I met her at a sober international activity. She helped them get started in New York. I got invited back there to, you know, help out. And then we would get news that, “Oh! They got it in Australia.” Or, “They have it in Amsterdam.” It was so fine, and me and Bill would almost cry when we heard that, because it was so good. Well, what has happened, is that it has blossomed all over. And they have meetings and they do by-laws. I remember the By-law Meeting that they were doing. It was so funny. I walked in the room. They all had their laptops out. Chuh. Chuh. Chuh. I said, “Look at these speed freaks! They are on it!” To me it’s like all these kids are my children, when I see ‘em working hard and doing this and getting clean and sober. It’s like the most beautiful thing in the world.
All of them thank Bill and me and everything. It’s like we did it cause we felt we had to do it. It wasn’t like we were trying to be something. We just felt we needed a place where we could feel free to talk. I love talking at CMA meetings cause I can say anything. I can say whatever I’m thinking, feeling, and about drugs. I can tell it and I don’t have to bite my tongue or worry about people saying something about it. Which is a freedom. This is what it is – another freedom that we have. So we’re promised this thing that we will be happy, joyous and free. CMA has helped us to become free, or freer than we were before. You know, we like to see it go on. I love going to CMA meetings and everything. I don’t get to as many as I’d like, but I’m fine just to know they’re there. I think you could ask a couple of other people like Pete S., because he would remember better than me, maybe. I know we’re all getting old. I can remember how we got started and what a beautiful thing it was. I remember the last look that Bill and I had. I remember the last look. He was getting ready to leave this planet. I looked at him and he looked at me and that was our last look. But it was the most beautiful look in the world, I’ll never forget it, you know. Cause like, something got accomplished, you know. So whenever they ask me to do anything for CMA, I do it! I do it, because it’s important. Bill and I sold a lot of meth. Before we got to the program we were meth dealers. And so we felt part of our amends was to do this. I forgot to mention that, but that was part of me and him discussing that we did so much selling of drugs that it was important for us to make a place where people could recover from that. That’s it.