What’s the secret to a long, healthy marriage?
Researchers have taken a lot of interest in this question over the past decade with the most recent study showing some of the most surprising results ever. Scientists from the Research Institutes on Addiction teamed up with the University of Buffalo School of Public Health to investigate how marijuana might be impacting domestic violence. The study followed 600 couples through their first nine years of marriage to learn how smoking weed influenced their tendencies towards aggressive conflicts. The scientists were surprised to find that couples that enjoyed marijuana together were less likely to have any reports of domestic violence.
Lead investigator Kenneth Leonard said that couples seem to develop a special partnership when they use marijuana together for recreational purposes. “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,” he said.
To learn how the couples progressed through nine years of marriage, the research team checked in periodically and conducted interviews on five separate wedding anniversaries. Each couple was contacted for questioning on the first, second, fourth, seventh, and ninth anniversaries. The interviews included specific questions about marijuana use as well as any use of marijuana.
By the end of the study, it was clear that the couples that did report smoking weed together had fewer reports of conflicts that elevated to violence. However, the research team urged that further studies were needed to get more details on why the correlation exists. “Although this study supports the perspective that marijuana does not increase, and may decrease, aggressive conflict, we would like to see research replicating this finding, and research examining day-to-day marijuana and alcohol use and the likelihood to IPV on the same day before drawing stronger conclusions,” Leonard said.
Do you find it surprising that smoking pot led to less violence in marriages? Why do you think marijuana use is connected to reduced domestic violence?