When marijuana is used it can cause fear, anxiety, panic or paranoia, which can result in an aggressive outburst. For most people, however, once the effects of the drug wear off, their behaviour gradually improves.
Studies show that violence can occur more often among people who use marijuana regularly, rather than those who use it occasionally or not at all
Research also shows that marijuana users who commit violent acts usually have a history of violence before they start using the drug.
In addition, when people are withdrawing from marijuana they can be irritable, which can lead to abusive or aggressive behaviour.
Why do people become abusive or aggressive?
Using marijuana can produce strange behaviour and reactions in people when they are intoxicated. These reactions can be similar to psychosis and paranoia and because of this, marijuana users may experience the following:
confusion – they misunderstand what is going on or what someone has said or done
feeling threatened or frightened
paranoia – they hear voices or think that people are out to get them
When people stop using marijuana they may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms including:
loss of appetite
Experiencing any of these symptoms can make a person angry, which is an emotional response to feeling threatened or frustrated. Anger ranges from mild irritation to violent rage. Some people can express their anger in a controlled and constructive way while others lash out in an aggressive, uncontrolled way, either immediately or letting their feelings build up. This can lead to intimidating, violent or bullying behaviour, endangering them, other people and property.