Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Couples who smoke marijuana together less likely to engage in domestic violence

Controversial new research suggests that couples who smoke marijuana together are less likely to be violent towards one another - perhaps because of their views as well as the drug

Marijuana has been blamed for causing car accidents and fuelling acts of violence.
But now controversial new research suggests that couples who smoke the drug together are actually less likely to be violent towards one another.
And experts claim it's not just the effects of cannabis on the brain, but the fact that couples who use it may share similar values and social circles, that may reduce the likelihood of conflict.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and Research Institute on Addictions, in New York, studied 634 couples to find that the more they smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.

Examining the couples over the first nine years of marriage, they discovered that husbands who used the drug around three times a week with their wives, were less likely to be violent towards them in the future.

Marijuana use by husbands also predicted less frequent attacks from wives.
The study, published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, said that the relationship between marijuana use and reduced partner violence was most evident among women with no track record of antisocial behaviour.
These findings suggest that marijuana use is predictive of lower levels of aggression towards one's partner in the following year,’ said Dr Kenneth Leonard, director of the university’s Research Institute on Addictions.
He explained that as with other studies of this kind, the research examines patterns of marijuana use and the occurrence of violence within a year, and doesn't look at whether smoking pot on a given day leads to violence at that time.
‘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.
‘Although this study supports the perspective that marijuana does not increase, and may decrease, aggressive conflict, we would like to see research replicating these findings, and research examining day-to-day marijuana and alcohol use and the likelihood to intimate partner violence on the same day before drawing stronger conclusions.’

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