A California doctor lost his license after he recommended a father give his 5-year-old son marijuana cookies to deal with “uncontrollable behavior and temper tantrums,” according to the state medical board.
William S. Eidelman also made the improper diagnosis of a “probable combination” of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder quickly after meeting with the father and son, the board found.
The decision to revoke the Los Angeles doctor’s license stems from a recommendation he gave the young child back in September 2012, but was made earlier this month.
In 2012, the father told officials the cannabis-laced cookies he was giving his son in the morning were helping to manage his behavior in school. But when he asked the school nurse to give him another marijuana cookie during the lunch hour, officials refused and instead contacted the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and local child protective services.
Eidelman’s license was revoked earlier this month, although it was not for recommending marijuana to the small child.
“It appears reasonable minds can, and did, differ over whether or not cannabis should be given in low amounts to a child who suffered from ADHD or Bipolar Disorder,” the board found in its decision. Instead, officials found that Eidelman’s diagnosis of the young child was hasty and “grossly negligent.”
“A proper diagnosis should have been made, and [Eidelman] through ignorance and neglect, failed to make a proper diagnosis,” the board found. “[Eidelman] made a diagnosis without adequate basis, and without adequate research and study.”
According to the board’s decision, the self-styled natural medicine doctor did not see the child misbehave or have a tantrum during his 30-minute consultation. Instead, he said he based his diagnosis on what the father told him, including that the father and a sibling of the 5-year-old had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past.
Eidelman was, however, unable to describe symptoms of bipolar disorder during his interview with investigators, except to say that family history was a factor.
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Eidelman said he disagreed with the judge’s findings on his diagnosis and that he is appealing the decision.
“The judge’s order was not filed and signed in a timely manner,” he said. “I believe I will win on appeal.”
He did not address questions regarding his recommendation.
On his website, Eidelman writes his main treatment includes “herbs, nutrition, bioelectromagnetism, and meditation.”
Eidelman had been disciplined and placed on probation in 2004 when the California Medical Board found that he had issued marijuana recommendations to undercover police officers without a legitimate medical reason.
By 2001, according to the board, nearly all of Eidelman’s practice was focused on issuing medicinal marijuana recommendations.
According to the California Medical Board, Eidelman’s license was revoked Monday, but he told BuzzFeed News he is continuing his practice.
“I will continue practicing following the signature of the order by the judge, which I expect today,” he said.