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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

chat4 Comments


  1. Chris

    The study you cite contradicts a large meta-analysis published in a much more well respected journal (impact factor 7.2 versus 3.3):Moorea TM, Stuart DL, Meehanc JC, Rhatigana DL, Hellmutha JC, Keen SM, 2008. Drug abuse and aggression between intimate partners: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review,V.28, Issue 2, Pages 247–274.
    The meta-analysis found: “The present investigation employed meta-analytic procedures to quantitatively evaluate the empirical evidence on the relationship between drug abuse and aggression between intimate partners. Data from 96 studies yielding 547 effect sizes indicated that increases in drug use and drug-related problems were significantly associated with increases in aggression between intimate partners (d= .27). Cocaine emerged as the illicit substance with the strongest relationship to psychological, physical, and sexual aggression (ds= .39 to .62). Marijuana was also identified as having a significant association with partner aggression.

  2. george

    Chris, this study is six years newer and with a sample size six times the previous research. It is really just confirming what is widely accepted amongst users. Marijuana use usually results in increased sexual contact with the everyday partner.
    Couples’ Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their Intimate Partner Violence Over the First 9 Years of Marriage.
    By Smith, Philip H.; Homish, Gregory G.; Collins, R. Lorraine; Giovino, Gary A.; White, Helene R.; Leonard, Kenneth E.
    Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Aug 18 , 2014,

  3. Ian MacFarlane

    No one I know smokes and gets violent. On the contrary they all, as the expression goes, mellow out.

  4. mike

    ive smoked everyday since 15 i have 3 degrees a state lic etc and ALL of my friends, only a wife or 2 also smoke, mine has never and no one has ever touched their wives. In fact i’ve never met an angry pot head,LOL a hungry one maybe!

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