Can Marijuana Legalization End Domestic Violence?

Zachary Volkert

It's no secret that marijuana users tend to be more calm and relaxed than their alcohol-fueled counterparts. In fact, it's been one of the major talking points for campaigns that have gained success for marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, and possibly very soon in Oregon and other states.

While the debate rages on with issues like driving under the influences and just where you can light up, marijuana legalization advocates have at least one new data set that anyone would be hard pressed to argue against. In a study published in the journal of Psychology and Addictive Behaviors, researches from Yale University, Rutgers, and the University of Buffalo found that couples who smoked marijuana had a much lower rate of domestic violence, particularly when compared with alcohol users.

"In fully adjusted models, we found that more frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by husbands. Husbands' marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives. Moderation analyses demonstrated that couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV perpetration."

The study's sample size isn't large enough to really make it completely conclusive, but marijuana legalization advocates have often been critical that anti-weed campaigns use studies with an even smaller number of subjects. One such study claimed to find a link between testicular cancer and marijuana use, while at the same time claiming that cocaine actually lowered instances of the invasive cancer, reported The Atlantic. The problem? The study only included 163 men and all of them were from the Los Angeles county area -- which has notoriously high pollution rates. Marijuana legalization advocates have nearly 10 times the amount of proof if they decide to use this domestic violence study as a talking point.

Moreover, this new study isn't even the first to make the suggestion that domestic violence is flared much more easily by alcohol than by pot. Earlier this year, investigators at the University of Texas and Florida State performed a similar study and found basically the same information in favor of marijuana legalization.

"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 increased. The odds of psychological aggression increased on heavy alcohol use days only."

However, according to a previous report from The Daily Caller, marijuana legalization is still being fought against even when it comes to trying to prove a link between smoking a joint and hitting your partner. A $2 million study was funded with taxpayer revenue that sought to definitively find a link between weed use and aggressive behavior. The study is set to conclude in 2017, but even if it does produce results that look bad for marijuana legalization, it will have a lot of contrasting information to go up against.

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