Married couples are supposed to share their lives with one another and, thanks to a new study published in the August edition of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors online, it looks like sharing marijuana can also be somewhat beneficial. Researchers found that couples who smoke marijuana together have fewer incidences of domestic violence.
The study, which included researchers from Yale University, University of Buffalo and Rutgers, evaluated 634 couples over their first nine years of marriage. In the end, they found that – the more often husbands and wives smoked pot together – the less likely they were to engage in forms of domestic abuse or domestic violence.
“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,” revealed Kenneth Leonard, director of the UB Research Institute on Addictions and lead investigator of the study.
After evaluating the married couples over nine-years, the study concluded the following:
- Out of all participants, 22 percent of the women and 28 percent of the men admitted to using pot
- The rates of domestic violence were lower among couples where at least one partner smoked
- The rates of domestic violence were lowest among couples who smoked together
- Husbands’ marijuana use predicted less frequent intimate partner violence perpetration by wives
- Couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent intimate partner violence perpetration
- The relationship between marijuana use and reduced partner violence was most evident among women who did not have histories of prior antisocial behavior
Marijuana and Domestic Violence
When it comes to married couples smoking weed, the study suggests that chronic users exhibit "blunted emotional reaction to threat stimuli." Simply put, smoking decreases a person’s reaction to the “fight or flight” syndrome. Married couples who get stoned together experience a significant decrease in the likelihood of acting out in an aggressive manner.
Most drugs of abuse can be linked to unsavory outcomes or poor decision-making. In fact, high rates of crime and major family breakdown are commonly seen in areas with heavy drug use. However, it would appear that legalizing marijuana not only decreases the crime rates, but also decreases the prevalence of other social problems, like domestic violence.
Before drawing stronger conclusions, Leonard and his colleagues hope to conduct further research on day-to-day cannabis and alcohol use among married couples.
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