According to a new study published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, couples who smoke marijuana together are not as likely to engage in domestic violence. The research, conducted by a team of scientists from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, included 634 married couples recruited while they were getting marriage licenses.
They were surveyed regarding the frequency of incidents of IPVs (intimate partner violence) over a one year period. They were also asked how often each of them smoked marijuana.
A six point Likert scale was utilized. Choices ranged from “not at all” to “more than once a week.” After the “initial assessment, each couple was requested to take part in “follow-up surveys” scheduled for their first, second, fourth, seventh and ninth anniversaries.
The investigative team was cautious about asserting conclusions. Nevertheless, when controlling for the rate of marijuana used between each married pair, they discovered that a lower number of incidents of IPV were reported in the couples who smoked marijuana regularly.
Philip H. Smith, PhD, associate research scientist for the Department of Psychiatry at Yale and lead author of the study said: “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.”
There was a reduction in the number of occurrences of IPVs among couples who smoked marijuana more than twice a month. The highest reduction, however, was discovered among couples who smoked marijuana with the “greatest frequency.” The lowest rate of domestic violence was recorded in heterosexual couples who both smoked pot more than once a week.
The research also revealed that marijuana-smoking women who had committed acts of domestic violence in the past proved the exception. They actually seemed more likely to engage in violent acts against their spouses.
Smith admitted the results were limited. He also noted that the study only used heterosexual “first-time” married couples who had been able to stay together through the duration of the follow-up interviews. While their work didn’t focus on how marijuana use affects daily life or reduces incidents of violence on a daily basis, Smith was still fascinated.
Smith concluded: “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.”
Stop Beating Your Spouse: Smoke Marijuana