Long-Term Study Says Married Couples Who Toke Together Show Lowest Level of Domestic Violence


Flickr user 0_hai/Modified under Creative Commons license
Hit bongs, not spouses

In the business of analyzing the domestic abuse statistics and trends in our country, there is a term used called “Alcohol or Other Drug” involvement, or AOD. The data seems to show that the impairment, poor decision making and amped up aggression that is generally associated with abusing alcohol, or “Other Drugs”, commonly leads to physical violence in a marriage.
Studies over the decades have varied, but they typically show that 48% to 87% of the time that a person is physically assaulted by their spouse, the aggressor is juiced up on some booze.
So, what do the statistics say about weed?

Well, thanks to a dedicated long-term study performed by a research team at the University of Buffalo, we can finally begin to justify an answer to that very question.
Beginning in 1996, the team gathered 634 married couples as their sample group, and spent the next nine years following up with each couple with routine questionnaires that would ask them to honestly report on all drug and alcohol use, as well as any forms of physical aggression from one spouse to another.
The University of Buffalo team was the first to dynamically gather data over an extended period of time, rather than just conduct a single snapshot survey.
Over the course of the study, the researchers worked to gather and implement into their own report any relevant studies on the subject, some of which dated back decades.
What they concluded was that the married couples who blaze together, stays together.
But joking aside, this nine year study, built on the back of decades of research on the topic, showed that reports of domestic violence were far lower in homes where both parents reported cannabis use.
Not just lower, in fact, but the lowest among all cross-sections in the study.
Still, the study’s authors are hesitant to connect the very obvious dots… that marijuana use definitively leads to less domestic violence.
“Marijuana may increase positive affect, which in turn could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression,” the study’s author offered after the release of the report, though he follows it up with the Couch Lock Theory, that “chronic [marijuana]users exhibit blunted emotional reaction to threat stimuli, which may also decrease the likelihood of aggressive behavior.”
Any way you slice it, the results are clear. In recent statements, the team’s spokesperson falls back on the excuse that they still have work to do. When you feed yourself on grant money, there is always more work that “needs” to be done.
Speaking of grant money, the University of Buffalo study was partially bankrolled by funds received from a grant given by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA). Historically, the NIDA has been a powdery mildew covered spider mite in the garden of cannabis reform, often single-handedly stymieing legit attempts to study the true medicinal effects of the cannabis plant.
Chris Ingraham over at The Washington Post broke the story of this revealing new set of data from the University of Buffalo, and he sums the situation up well.
Ingraham points out that it’s not just the NIDA who is starting to reconsider the potential benefits of marijuana, but the DEA has been asking for permission to grow more of their own weed. You know, for “research”.
At least the spouses of a select handful of federal employees are likely sleeping easier as a result.