Pot Smoking Couples Have Lower Rates of Intimate Partner Violence
Studies have linked substance abuse to domestic violence, and this type of abuse can lead to an increase in the divorce rate, as many victims of domestic violence leave their spouses. However, a new study surprisingly revealed a decrease in domestic violence for spouses who frequently use marijuana.
The study was conducted by researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Buffalo and Yale University. The goal of the survey was to measure how marijuana use affected rates of intimate partner violence (IPV). For the purpose of the study, the research team identified hitting, slapping, choking, and beating as intimate partner violence.
The study measured the frequency of marijuana use by asking participants how often they used the drug in the previous year. Included in the answers that fell into the classification of marijuana were grass, pot, reefer, weed, hash and hash oil. Survey participants were also required to share details of any other drugs they may have used, including alcohol.
There were 634 married couples who participated in the study. These couples were recruited for the study when they applied for marriage licenses between the years 1996 to 1999 in the state of New York. The couples submitted to an initial interview when they agreed to participate and then received periodic mail-in surveys over the next nine years.
The research team found that for couples who smoked marijuana at least a few times per month, the least likely they were to be involved in intimate partner violence perpetrated by the husbands. For couples using marijuana on a regular basis, the risks of intimate partner violence were lowered significantly.
The results surprised the research team, as they had anticipated couples using marijuana would have a much higher intimate partner violence rate, similar to the rates in frequent alcohol use. They concluded that the part of the reason for the low rate could be because of the calming effect marijuana has on a person’s emotional responses, such as violent behavior and aggression.
If you are a victim of intimate partner violence, it is critical that you seek legal help immediately. Contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney for help in obtaining an order of protection and advice on other legal steps you may be able to take.