We may have found the key to marital peace!
It’s green, it’s pungent, and it’s the
cause for nearly 1 million arrests every year.
Hey everyone, Laci Green here for DNews. The
notion that people who smoke weed are non-violent
peace lovers may be more than just a stereotype.
A new study in the journal Psychology of Addictive
Behaviors has found that couples that smoke
weed together have staggeringly lower levels
of domestic violence. Couples where both spouses
smoked at least a few times a month — which
was the highest end of the researchers’
scale — had the lowest levels of violence
in the study. The study looked at 638 newly-wedded
couples over the course of 9 years. The couples
each did an initial interview and then subsequent
interviews after one year, 2, 4, 7, and then
9 years. Part of the data collection included
reporting their marijuana usage and instances
of aggression within the relationship.
The researchers say that this means marijuana
use can help predict violence levels over
the next year – but they don’t know if smoking
weed has the power to influence violence levels
on any given day. The sample is also limited
to straight couples in their first marriage.
Veeeery interesting. Of course, the temptation
is to jump to the conclusion that weed makes
people more peaceful – but there may be other
reasons why this connection exists. They’ll
need to do more research to know for sure.
One reason that couples that smoke together
are more peaceful may because they’re more
likely to share core values and social circles,
making them less likely to fight. The researchers
also describe the possibility of a “positive
effect” – which is basically science-speak
for “people feel happy when they’re high
so they’re less likely to fight.” Another
mechanism on the table builds on previous
research – we know that marijuana users have
dulled reactions to threats and aggression,
making them less likely to initiate aggressive
What’s even more interesting is that this
study was funded in part by the National Institute
for Drug Abuse – an institution that is well-known
for it’s strong position against recreational
marijuana use. The study adds to the growing
body of research about the effects of marijuana
on individuals, their relationships, their
lives and work. Here in the US, we really
are amidst a giant green flurry. Some of you
may recall last month the New York Times did
a huge marijuana issue which called for legalization
on the front of the Sunday paper in big, bold
letters. About half the country now allows
medical marijuana with a prescription, in
2 states it’s fully legal. Researchers are
watching Colorado like a hawk – AND the federal
government has upped its marijuana research
quota. Now they’ll be growing 650 kilograms
of weed. Last year they grew 21.
I expect the research will continue to avalanche
in the coming months and years and perhaps
more policies will be changing in response.
Thanks for joining me for Dnews, we’ll see
you next time.