Part 2: PTSD, Medical Marijuana Deadly Combination for family

 Vet with PTSD Shot Wife and Stepfather

Read  Part 1: Tragic Tale of Two Families named Kirk  Shane Kirk and his family were living with the mother and stepfather in southwestern Oklahoma, when the troubled veteran shot his wife Jessica and his stepfather.

Jessica Kirk was a nurse who had graduated from nursing school in  December, 2016. Sometime in the past year, the family moved from California, where medical marijuana has been easy to obtain for a couple of decades. Jessica’s Facebook posts reveal how much she loved being the mother to three sons, and that she married Shane Kirk in 2011.

Jessica Kirk, Shane Kirk’s wife

On Veteran’s day of 2016, Jessica wrote, “For almost six years, now I have been married to an amazing man.  My husband is kind, smart, loving, sincere, genuine and has a great sense of humor.   My husband is hero.  He is a combat veteran.”

Shane Kirk’s personal image on Facebook quotes a science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein: “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can appeal to one man by appealing to their logic.” He posted a picture with the two oldest boys at a beach last summer.  On another picture, he used the hashtag #ShootBack, in response to the Orlando shooting.  One wonders if Shane Kirk was using medical marijuana when the family lived in California last year.

After Shane Kirk Left Military

The military discharged Shane Kirk for medical reasons before he finished a third tour of duty. Comments on articles reveal that he was mentally and physically ill.  Relatives of Jessica’s oldest son, Shane’s stepson, knew Shane had caused family tension over the   past year.  Yet people who had known him for years find it incomprehensible he could commit murder.   As one friend said:  “You don’t know his heart. Those of us who do, can’t even fathom this.”

Wilkinson’s study from Yale reveals that Marijuana makes PTSD worse and also increases violent episodes in veterans.  When pot users  become violent, their actions reflect how marijuana increases the perception that others intend to harm them. Shane Kirk didn’t just go after his wife, but also his stepfather whom he probably thought wanted to hurt him.  (Read Part 1 for more detail)

Reporters interview Shane Kirk’s mother

According to the news from Duncan, Oklahoma:  “Ramona Duncan (his mother) said (Shane) had recently taken his wife and children to Colorado “to escape from people trying to hurt him.”  This comment is consistent with marijuana-induced paranoia.

“Duncan said that on the day of the shooting she and Jessica Kirk decided to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to receive some help for Shane Kirk, but they were told the administration was unable to offer any assistance, according to the affidavit.

“Duncan told officers her son had been smoking marijuana in order to break his addiction to his prescribed depression medication.” 

Dennis Duncan, Shane Kirk’s stepfather. Kirk first shot his stepfather, before turning on his wife.

Another article explains how the Shane’s mother called 911 after he shot her husband.  She expressed concern that he would also murder the wife and children. By the time police arrived, they found Kirk’s wife dead also.  Shane Kirk was outside holding his infant, with the 5-year-old standing nearby.

According to the police affidavit, Kirk initially denied shooting his wife and stepfather.  After officers told Kirk his mother had said he shot them, Kirk said that “if his mother (Ramona Duncan) said he had shot them, then it was true, but he did not remember it.”

District attorney Jason Hicks told Shane Kirk at the initial hearing:  “My understanding is based upon our investigation is he went to Colorado approximately a week ago to escape from some people who he believed were trying to harm him,” Hicks said. “What we understand is he actually went to Colorado to spend some time up there with some folks he knew and was using marijuana while he was there to try and come off whatever he was doing in Stephens County and Duncan.”

Others Who Murdered After Using marijuana for PTSD

Case like the shooting of Jessica Kirk and Dennis Duncan prevent the Veteran’s Administration had approved marijuana as medicine for veterans.  Several violent acts in the news had the marijuana-PTSD connection, including the following:

Arcan Cetin, Cascades Mall shooter, September 2016, killed 5 in Washington state.

Stephen Bourgoin, killed 5 teens with car, Vermont, October 2016.

Richard Rojas, veteran,  used vehicle in Times Square, killed one teen, injured others, May 2017.

Eddie Routh, veteran, murdered Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

Aaron Hernandez, former football player, killed his friend and pot-smoking buddy, Odin Lloyd.  However, brain injuries from football may have played a bigger role than the marijuana use in his mental imbalance.

In the case of Stephen Bourgoin and Shane Kirk, medical systems were unable to help them.  Eddie Routh murdered the men who were trying to help with his PTSD.  Arcan Cetin had been receiving counseling and treatment under the supervision of Washington state. When those in treatment are also using marijuana, nothing can save others from this danger.

Politicians who want marijuana available for veterans with PTSD,  Senator Cory Booker and Representative Earl Blumenauer, are not paying attention to the science. Other politicians are joining the pot bandwagon as if it has become a popularity contest for the coolest politico.  The list includes: Reps. Mark Takani, J. Louis Correa, Julia Brownley and Scott Peters of California, as well as Ann Kuster, New Hampshire,  Beto O’Rourke, Texas and  Kathleen Rice, New York.