A California doctor specializing in alternative medicine lost his license after he recommended marijuana for a 4-year-old.
Dr. William Eidelman, a natural medicine physician, prescribed pot cookies for a young boy’s temper tantrums. Eidelman said that, according to the child’s father, he was about to get kicked out of school for misbehaving and that pot-laced cookies would calm him down, reports CBS Los Angeles.
Eidelman told the station:
“The school has basically kicked him out and he could come back when he was on medicine.”
Concerned about the side effects, his dad didn’t want his son on pharmaceuticals. Following the doctor’s advice, he gave the child cookies for the school day.
The dad testified in court that a teacher supposedly said:
“Finally, a doctor got it right the first time.”
The prescription seemed to work, but it wore off in the afternoon, so he asked the school’s nurse to give his son cookies at lunch. She, however, reported the unusual treatment to child protective services and law enforcement.
Yet it wasn’t Eidelman’s decision to treat the boy with cannabis that cost him his license, Rather, it was that he made a diagnosis without consulting a psychiatrist, according to the medical board report.
The board determined that the doctor’s recommendation was not supported by sufficient evidence. Based on the dad’s office visit in September 2012, the board stated:
It appears [that] reasonable minds can … differ over whether or not cannabis should be given in low amounts to children who suffered from ADHD or bipolar disorder.
However, before such a step was taken, a proper diagnosis should have been made.
The board’s decision said:
Tantrums alone … do not support either diagnosis. ‘Being agitated’ and ‘having trouble sitting still’ hint at ADHD, but could simply hint at a preschooler not happy to have driven many miles to a doctor’s appointment.
Due to being “grossly negligent,” the California Medical Board decided to revoke Eidelman’s license starting January 4.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Eidelman’s attorney appealed the board’s decision, and a judge ruled to delay the suspension.
The physician said he’s still able to continue his practice, although the medical board currently lists his license as revoked pending a hearing in March.
However, the board concluded that Eidelman did not meet the basic “diagnostic criteria for either ADHD or Bipolar Disorder” before prescribing the child cannabis.