Breaking: Weed Smokers Less Violent

by Dish Staff

Who’da thunk it?

Past research has indicated that couples who abuse substances are at a greater risk for divorce, in part because substance abuse often leads to an increase in domestic violence. However, new research has found that when it comes to marijuana use, the opposite effect occurs: couples who frequently use marijuana are actually at a lower risk of partner violence.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown parses this research:

Obviously this doesn’t mean marijuana makes people less violent per se—maybe the types prone to pot-smoking are just inherently less violent individuals; or perhaps the types prone to partner violence are categorically less drawn to the drug. But it is interesting to contrast these stats with numbers on alcohol, which has frequently been linked to increased incidences of partner violence.

In one recent study, published in the journal Addictive Behaviors in January 2014, researchers found that “on any alcohol use days, heavy alcohol use days (five or more standard drinks), and as the number of drinks increased on a given day, the odds of physical and sexual aggression perpetration” by college-age men in relationships increased.

Christopher Ingraham looks at who paid for the study:

Perhaps most significantly, the Buffalo study was funded partially by a grant from the National Institute for Drug Abuse. Marijuana reformers have strongly criticized NIDA’s institutional biases against marijuana legalization in the past, including restrictions the agency has placed on the availability of marijuana for research purposes. But the fact that NIDA is funding studies like this one suggests that it, like much of the country, is beginning to change its tune.