A California doctor has been stripped of his license after giving a four-year-old boy some marijuana cookies in order to control the child's temper tantrums. According to the BBC, Dr. William Eidelman, a natural medicine physician, misdiagnosed the boy with having bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
"The Medical Board of California ruled to revoke the doctor's license but he has launched an appeal," reports the outlet.
However, Dr. Eidelman did not have his license revoked due to giving the four-year-old boy marijuana, which is legal in California for medicinal purposes. It was instead due to his being "negligent in his care and treatment" for not consulting a psychiatrist or communicating with the boy's school.
Dr. Eidelman's "treatment" of the boy began at the request of his father in 2012, who suffered from ADHD and bipolar disorder himself as a child.
"The boy's father consulted Dr. Eidelman in September 2012 because his son was misbehaving at school," reports BBC. "As a child, the boy's father had ADHD and bipolar disorder himself and had a negative experience with prescribed medications at the time, saying he felt like a 'human guinea pig.' He started using marijuana later in life, saying it helped 'calm him' and changed his behavior towards his wife, towards whom he had previously 'exhibited anger.'"
The father had administered marijuana to his older son who was also struggling with ADHD and bipolar disorder. He claims the drug had a "positive effect" on both his children.
Dr. Eidelman prescribed tiny amounts of cannabis to the boy via weed cookies. A school nurse later discovered the secret ingredient when she was asked to administer it to the boy at lunchtime.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the board's decision said that "tantrums alone … do not support" the doctor's diagnosis, adding that Eidelman's notes from the 2012 visit do not fit the diagnosis of ADHD and bipolar disorder.
"‘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," said the board. "Although he did not outright suggest a diagnosis … he all but made one up out of whole cloth."
Marijuana has become an increasingly popular recreational item in California since being legalized in 2017. This past Christmas, several dispensaries reported a record number of customers buying gifts. The move to make a social scene out of the recreational drug has been ongoing in certain parts of the state, primarily in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The ultra-liberal town of West Hollywood is vying to become another red light district with Amsterdam-style pot lounges. According to Bloomberg, the city has already begun accepting applications.
Currently, only eight licenses are available for lounges that offer edible cannabis (pot brownies, cookies). Another eight will go to lounges where people can smoke and vape alongside food and drink. Similar proposals have popped up in San Francisco and Oakland. Since much of the state prohibits pot smoking in public places, the lounges would be an alternative social space.