Relationships on Weed
Romantic relationships can lift you up, support you when you need it and provide a sense of deep love and understanding to each partner. Or they can royally screw you up. Honestly, it’s how I feel about certain strains of marijuana, too. But unless you commit to completely isolating yourself (and that’s no fun at all), you’re going to find yourself IN a relationship at some point in your life. And one question that begs to be answered is, “how will using pot effect that partnership in the long run.”
That was exactly the line of inquiry researchers at the University of Buffalo set out to answer. In the study, which included 634 couples over the first nine years of their marriage, the cannabis using habits of husbands and wives went under the microscope. The partners were examined for frequency of marijuana use and subsequent instances of Intimate Personal Violence (or IPV). As the study progressed it became obvious that there was a correlation between how often couples used marijuana and occurrences of domestic violence. But it wasn’t what the anti-pot crowd would have expected to hear.
Researchers found that instead of marijuana truly being “The Devil’s Weed,” leading seemingly sensitive husbands to mercilessly attack their wives, it usually created quite the opposite situation. The study’s abstract details the findings, “that couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV perpetration.” Not only are couples that use together the least likely of the pairs to be violent towards each other – the study also showed that a wife was less likely to be violent towards her husband if he had been using pot, even if he was the only one of them toking up.
This point is proven over and over again in the cannabis industry, pot power couples fill the landscape.
Jenn Lauder and Chad Dean, co-founders of the cannabis centric digital media company Weekend Review Kit, have been married for 14 years. Lauder says that she has struggled with anger management issues in the past and estimates she’s done some “flailing [of] arms” a few times in their 18 years total as a couple. But she has found marijuana to be a great way to abate those tendencies saying that part of the reason she takes marijuana medically is to help counteract it. “Chad keeps it much cooler” she says, “[he] hasn’t ever been physically violent.”
And they aren’t the only ones putting the proof in the pudding.
Liz Blaz Fitch and Will Fitch of Green Delta Consulting also work within the cannabis industry together. They manage to stay even keeled with each other throughout the long days and laborious tasks required to insure their client’s applications are approved. They spend most of the day together, and when it’s quitting time, they use marijuana to help relieve the stress that comes with running your own business. “Our strategy and joint approach to all stresses related to our work and marriage is the same – hit it head on, EARLY, or let it explode later” says Liz, “cannabis plays a large role in our stress relief as well.” They have been together for 8 years, having married last year in August and “we’ve never had a violent incident in that time” they say. And the chance that they’d be involved in any kind of domestic violence doesn’t really cross their minds.
So does this mean everyone should smoke weed? No, of course not. It’s not for everyone and it’s likely not going to be the answer to an ongoing problem a couple has with domestic violence. But it can lead a person to some real introspection. Unlike other intoxicants people use to relieve stress.
People are always comparing cannabis and alcohol, saying, “smoking a joint is just like drinking a glass of wine.” But it’s not the same.
According to the Tennessee Association and Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services, research shows that “drinking proceeds acts of family violence in 25 to 50% of all cases of domestic violence,” adding that the “highest rates of abuse are found in moderate to heavy drinkers.” And if 25-50% seems like a high number, consider that many women don’t ever officially report their abuse making the actual number inevitably higher.
Cannabis is a cure all, an equalizer, some even call it the great connector. It brings together people of all educational backgrounds, income levels, career paths and political views. You’ll rarely see a physical brawl within a group of pot smokers, I can’t recall one to date that I’ve seen personally. Perhaps, unlike alcohol, marijuana allows the user the time needed to take a step back and consider how to avoid a serious argument in the first place.
When it comes to arguments, a little perspective (something marijuana does not lack in producing) can mean the difference between agreeing to disagree and a knock down drag out, call the cops because one or the both of you are bleeding, type of incident. So medicate or recreate responsibly, as always, and remember – it might just be saving your relationship.
Reprinted with permission from the author.