Study sheds light on what might be the secret to a chill relationship
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
As if Canada needed another reason to legalize cannabis for recreational use, a recent study out of the University at Buffalo (UB) at the State University of New York found that married couples who regularly smoke marijuana have fewer instances of partner violence over time than couples who don’t.
Kenneth Leonard, PhD, the director of the UB Research Institute on Addictions and the scientist who collected data for the study, is quoted in a news release from the university stating that “our study examines patterns of marijuana-use and the occurrence of violence within a year period. It does not examine whether using marijuana on a given day reduces the likelihood of violence at that time.”
Leonard adds that more research needs to be done in this area to make a link between marijuana-use and same-day incidents of domestic violence. Because of this gap in the data, the study should not be taken as carte blanche to blaze all day, every day (in fact, the couples in the study only smoked weed once a week)—and Leonard also points out that the results may be correlative rather than causal.
“It is possible, for example, that—similar to a drinking partnership—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,” he is quoted in the news release.
It all seems pretty self-evident; weed relaxes you, making it a good way to chill out after a stressful day at work, in moderation. People in harmonious relationships tend to share hobbies, so the fact that the couples in this study are toking together means that the use of a scheduled substance is one thing that they’re not arguing about. Compare that with another likely situation: one member of a partnership is completely opposed to drug-use, and so the other member either begrudgingly gives it up, or does it in hiding. Both reactions could easily lead to massive differences.
While alcohol is involved in many situations of partner violence, violence in relationships is a complicated issue and can’t be solved by simply saying “people should smoke weed instead of drinking.” But perhaps if weed becomes legal, cheap, and accessible, in a few generations we will see more couples partying in peace with Mary Jane. There’s a lot to like about a casual intoxicant that may hold benefits for relationships.