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Study finds less partner violence in pot-smoking couples

August 28, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Married couples who use marijuana together exhibit a low prevalence of partner violence, and more frequent use by couples appears to be associated with less frequent violence perpetration, a new study involving 634 couples has found.

Based on data collected at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions, the study offered the theory that, as with couples who drink alcohol together, those who smoke marijuana together may share similar values and social circles and thus may be less prone to conflict in the relationship. Study results were published online this month in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Previous research on this topic looked at data from one point in time, but this study examined couples over their first nine years of marriage. Researchers led by Philip H. Smith, PhD, now an associate research scientist at Yale University's Department of Psychiatry, found that married couples' use of marijuana together at least two to three times per month predicted less frequent violence perpetration by husbands. Also, husbands' marijuana use predicted less domestic violence perpetration by wives.

The study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Researchers said they would like to see additional inquiry into whether marijuana use on a given day affects the likelihood of same-day partner violence.

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