Speed Reads

high times

Study: Married couples who smoke pot experience less domestic violence

The couple that tokes together stays together?

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that "couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration." Even when factors like demographic variables, behavioral problems, and alcohol use were controlled, "these findings were robust," The Washington Post reports.

The study's authors looked at data from 634 couples over nine years, beginning in 1996; the pairs were given questionnaires often, asking them about recent drug and alcohol use and physical altercations. Older studies focusing on the connection between marijuana use and domestic violence relied on data from just one point in time, and the findings were inconsistent: some found links between the two, others didn't.

So why do the authors think there's a connection? Theories include that "marijuana may increase positive affect, which in turn could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression." Also, "chronic [marijuana] users exhibit blunted emotional reaction to threat stimuli, which may also decrease the likelihood of aggressive behavior."

Since the data is on the older side, researchers would like to see if they would have the same findings today, when marijuana is at least party decriminalized in many areas. They also want to see how marijuana abuse, withdrawal, and dependence could affect how spouses interact.