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Marijuana Could Be the Answer to Reducing Domestic Violence

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Smoking marijuana is known for relieving pain and easing the symptoms of illnesses like glaucoma and Parkinson’s. It also gives tokers the munchies, makes users more “chill,” and may possibly add a dose of paranoia to one’s day. But it might soon be known for reducing domestic violence.

A new study released in the online version of the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that the more pot a person smoked the less likely he or she was to be violent with a partner. Researchers studied more than 1,200 people to examine the link between domestic violence and marijuana use. The study followed married couples and reviewed data from the first nine years of their marriages.

Findings included that more frequent marijuana use by couples (more than two or three times a month) predicted less frequent intimate-partner violence committed by husbands. The study also found that a husband’s use of marijuana correlated with less frequent abuse by wives. And the lowest levels of intimate-partner violence occurred among couples in which both spouses used marijuana.

This isn’t a recommendation to prescribe marijuana to spouses who suffer from domestic-violence issues, though. Experts say that since the study measures trends over the long term, it’s difficult to pinpoint precise cause and effect.

Lead study investigator Kenneth Leonard, director of the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions said of the study, “It does not examine whether using marijuana on a given day reduces the likelihood of violence at that time. It is possible, for example, that couples who use marijuana together may share similar values and social circles, and it is this similarity that is responsible for reducing the likelihood of conflict.”

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