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Pot-smoking couples tend to be less violent

A study of more than 600 married couples finds that the more often they smoked marijuana together, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.

The study attempted to clarify inconsistent findings about domestic violence among pot-smoking couples that primarily has been based on a single point in time.

“As in other survey studies of marijuana and partner violence, our study examines patterns of marijuana use and the occurrence of violence within a year period. It does not examine whether using marijuana on a given day reduces the likelihood of violence at that time,” says Kenneth Leonard, director of the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions.

Looking at couples over the first nine years of marriage, the study found:

  • More frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives—two-to-three times per month or more often—predicted less frequent intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by husbands.
  • Husbands’ marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives.
  • Couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV perpetration.
  • The relationship between marijuana use and reduced partner violence was most evident among women who did not have histories of prior antisocial behavior.

“It is possible, for example, that—similar to a drinking partnership—couples who use marijuana together may share similar values and social circles, and it is this similarity that is responsible for reducing the likelihood of conflict.

“These findings,” which appear online in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, “suggest that marijuana use is predictive of lower levels of aggression towards one’s partner in the following year,” says lead investigator Leonard.

“Although this study supports the perspective that marijuana does not increase, and may decrease, aggressive conflict,” he says, “we would like to see research replicating these findings, and research examining day-to-day marijuana and alcohol use and the likelihood to IPV on the same day before drawing stronger conclusions.”

Additional authors of the study include researchers from Rutgers and Yale university.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse supported the research.

Source: University at Buffalo