Study: Marijuana Use Inversely Associated With Intimate Partner Violence

Marijuana use by newly married couples is predictive of less frequent incidences of intimate partner violence perpetration, according to longitudinal data published online ahead of print in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Investigators at Yale University, Rutgers, and the University of Buffalo assessed over 600 couples to determine whether husbands’ and wives’ cannabis use was predictive of domestic abuse at any time during the first nine years of marriage. Researchers reported: “In this community sample of newly married couples, more frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV perpetration, for both men and women, over the first 9 years of marriage. Moderation analyses provided evidence that couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently were at the lowest risk for IPV perpetration, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender.”

Stated the study’s lead author in a press release: “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 IPV on the same day before drawing stronger conclusions.”

According to a previous study, published in January in the journal Addictive Behaviors, alcohol consumption — but not cannabis use — is typically associated with increased odds of intimate partner violence. Authors reported: “On any alcohol use days, heavy alcohol use days (five or more standard drinks), and as the number of drinks increased on a given day, the odds of physical and sexual aggression perpetration increased. The odds of psychological aggression increased on heavy alcohol use days only.” By contrast, researchers concluded that “marijuana use days did not increase the odds of any type of aggression.”

The abstract of the study, “Couples’ marijuana use is inversely related to their intimate partner violence over the first 9 years of marriage,” is online here.

17 thoughts

  1. Anybody who knows a law enforcement person and has talked to them about responding to domestic violence calls must have gotten a bunch of true stories about how police hate them. They don’t know what exactly they’re going to encounter as far as a possible escalation goes, and cops also hate responding to the same place because the woman won’t leave the abusive guy.

    I guess this study is just another reason not to legalize cannabis because there will be less for police to do if people switch from alcohol to cannabis and there are less domestic violence situations called in.

    I’m figuring statistics from Colorado, Washington, and hopefully soon also Oregon will be an inducement for more states to legalize both medical and adult recreational.

  2. Less violence! More powerful orgasms! This could revolutionize the medical treatment of domestic violence syndrome.

  3. The miracles associated with our favorite herb never seem to cease. The only problems marijuana is truly associated with are the ones caused by unjust idiotic laws! If it was legal, the world would be such a better place… If only we could convince the DEA of that…

  4. I think we have all been aware of this premise for many years, but you’ve got to love real data. As more and more research takes place I think we will find that this data will be more or less replicated across the board in terms of cannabis usage in relation to violent acts and other aggressive incidents. Hard science is crucial to long term success of the movement.

  5. Duh-huh.
    I’d say the most violence a pot smoker will experience is in the dark alleys they are forced to do business in.
    Or at the hands of law enforcement.

    Please, bring them into the light.

  6. This is off topic, but just a question I have, and probably know the answer to but wanted to share it with you guys because maybe we should all try this and get a chuckle out of it. It’s just a pipe dream, but here goes:

    If a cop arrests you for being in possession of marijuana, once they seize it, can you place the cop under citizens arrest for being in the possession of marijuana? Seems fair to me.

    [Editor’s note: Law enforcement personnel are immunized from arrest and prosecution regarding possessing illegal drugs as long as such possession comports with their job duties and responsibilities. If they break the protocol (ie, sneak drugs out of the lock up or steal an accused citizen’s stash), then they’re subject to same laws as civilians.

    Only exemptions to DEA’s schedule I restrictions regarding possession/transportation are law enforcement and less than two dozen federally-sanctioned medical researchers.]

  7. “If only we could convince the DEA of that.”

    The DEA does know this, they have all the science on marijuana and they are well aware Marijuana is not a dangerous controlled substance. It is just an excuse to beat up on people. Humans are Apex Predators. This means we kill and eat all animals, there no almost no animal which prey on us. We are built for killing and it is hard wired into us. The aggression level show by the police will never go down, it just has to be focused on the right things. The police, through their training, learn to attach other humans for profit, not food. But they police automatically go into attack mode as soon are they are aware of marijuana being present. So when I see police arresting marijuana users, I feel that I’m looking losers that can’t be bothered to doing their real job and arrest criminals. Smoking marijuana, growing marijuana and selling marijuana are normal everyday activities which are not cover by Law Enforcement’s Charter. By enforcing these laws, they create crime. First, arresting innocent people in a crime. Second, lying in court saying this person was found with a dangerous controlled substance is a lie if they are referring to marijuana. You what is a dangerous controlled substance? Marijuana with PCP on it. Why are police not bothering to any good and test weed for adulterants? Are they just too fucking stupid to bother looking for real crimes??? I believe most police are just pussies and that is why they will not let it go.

  8. Equipment every intimate partner pair should have: a flexible drawtube one-hitter with two (2) flexible drawtubes, each at least a foot long.

    When two persons share a 25-mg single toke, each gets half the heat, making it twice as mild (so much for PEACE), and you need only take time for additional tokes.

    It’s also easy to construct a two-ended breathbonnet for continued sharing (after each toke) of thirty warm wet W’s in honour of the dawgwagner.

  9. Very true. How many husbands go out, smoke bud them go home and beat their wife? Zero. Now how many go out, drink, then go home and beat their wife? Indeterminate. Same with driving, alcohol encourages violence and feelings of invincibility. Stoned drivers go the speed limit and use the right lane.

  10. Guys, what a horrible title. It is nice to use big words to sound intelligent but this title can be misleading at first glance. We don’t want that! A simple title such as, ““Marijuana Use Shown to Decrease Domestic Violence” would have been much more effective in getting this point across. Just saying.

  11. For example, if I were an alcoholic, I would not be able to distinguish myself from the other “Julian” who posted here, much less whether my anger or agression was justified while arguing with my wife. I’d be like, “Did I write that? Was my wife right when she said I left my pants in the middle of the yard? Oh well, better argue about it since I’m all full of piss and vinegar anyway…”
    Whereas on marijuana:
    “Man, what a beautiful day. You’re right babe; We didn’t need those pants anyway. I know what’s wrong! Your pants should be in the yard too!”
    Alcohol upsets the balance of chemistry in our brain, impairing decisions, making us irritable and impatient, and quite literally causing physical imbalance by distrupting the liquid in our cerebellum. After a few more drinks, neurons shut down, and our brains start operating on auto-pilot. Not a great time to be angry, much less be a good husband.

    The fact that our Department of Health and Human Services separates families for marijuana consumption while alcohol-related domestic abuse goes largely untreated and uninvestigated is almost as hypocritical as their ownership of the patent 6330507 for cannabinoids as neuroprotectants. This failure is worse than marijuana prohibition; The D.H.H.S gets $5,000 kickbacks from the DEA for closing fabricated drug-related cases out of the DEA’s Special Operations Division. Furthermore, foster parents and private Adoption agencies will pay out more for children whose parents consume marijuana, knowing full well these children don’t have the medical problems or violent tendencies attributed by alcoholic parents. And if the parents fight back? The D.H.H.S. will switch the judge. Non-violent parents who consume marijuana are left with no other choice but to go broke fighting tax-paid litigation from prosecutors and social workers on the government payroll.

    Marijuana creates homeostatic balance, regulating our endocannabinoid system by providing nourishment correcting our hormonal deficiencies that cause us to argue in the first place. It’s hard to argue when you already feel so happy and relaxed. I recommend a good strain of Trainwreck to stay alert during arousal.

  12. Hey Tanner LYons, the title is fine. To say “Marijuana Use Shown to Decrease Domestic Violence” means something completely different. Marijuana use is simply associated with decreased levels of violence, the study doesn’t look at whether smoking makes you less violent.

    Those words weren’t chosen to sounds intelligent, they were used because they clearly and concisely describe the study’s main finding.

  13. A little girl was handed an UZI and accidently shot the instructor in the head killing him. No charges will be filed.

    Picture this, the two parents and another adult handing a little girl a lit joint. All three will be going off to jail on Child Endangerment Charges and the child would immediately be removed from the home and might never see her parents again.

    But it is Okay to hand her an UZI. Our country is Fucked in the Head. I’m not condoning smoking out children, just demonstrating how people seem to have nothing like common sense anymore. Of course the parents should be charged, they were standing right there letting someone give their kid an fucking UZI, she could have shot herself for God’s Sake.

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