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Couples who Smoke Pot Together are Less Likely to Experience Domestic Violence

Update Date: Aug 27, 2014 11:48 AM EDT
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Over the past few years, marijuana has been legalized in certain states within the U.S. for its medicinal properties. Studies have tied the plant to easing physical symptoms. According to a new study, marijuana might also help with marriage counseling. Researchers from the University of Buffalo, Yale University and Rutgers found that couples that smoked together were less likely to engage in domestic violence.

For this study, the researchers examined nine-years of data on 634 couples. Since 1996, the couples were given questionnaires that collected information on their drug and alcohol use as well as any instances of domestic violence. After the first year of marriage, 37.1 percent of husbands admitted to committing at least one act of violence toward their spouses. When the researchers controlled for factors such as demographics, behavioral problems and alcohol use, they found that couples that smoked together were less likely to engage in physical abuse with one another.

"More frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV (intimate partner violence) for both men and women over the first 9 years of marriage," the researchers wrote reported by the Huffington Post.

The researchers cautioned that they found a correlation, not a cause-and-effect relationship. They also did not find a direct reason why this link exists. However, they theorized, according to the Washington Post that marijuana could "increase positive affect, which in turn could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression." Another possible theory is that marijuana can blunt people's emotional reaction, which could lower their chances of becoming aggressive.

The study, "Couples' Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their Intimate Partner Violence Over the First 9 Years of Marriage," was published in the journal, PubMed.

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