A doctor in California has launched a bid to save his licence after being struck off for prescribing cannabis cookies to a four-year-old boy.
Dr William Eidelman, a natural medicine physician, suggested that the child be given small doses of marijuana to help control his temper tantrums after wrongly diagnosing him with bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
The Medical Board of California (MBC) revoked his doctor’s licence earlier this month, but he has appealed against the decision.
Cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes in California and – according to the Los Angeles Times – Dr Eidelman has been prescribing the drug since 1997.
The boy was brought to his attention by his father in 2012 as he had been misbehaving at school.
His father also had bipolar disorder as a child, as well as ADHD, and said that using marijuana later in life had helped calm him and positively change his behaviour.
He later obtained the drug for his older son, who had the same learning difficulties, and said it had a “positive effect”.
Dr Eidelman suggested that it could be similarly beneficial to his younger son and said he should “try cannabis in small amounts in cookies”.
The drugged-up snack ended up being exposed when the nurse at his school was asked to give the boy his cannabis cookies at lunchtime.
MBC found Dr Eidelman “grossly negligent” for diagnosing the boy without consulting a psychiatrist, his teachers, or asking his father about his moods and sleep patterns.
The ruling – which took into account that the doctor had previously been punished for prescribing the drug to undercover investigators in 2000 and 2001 – said that “tantrums alone do not support either diagnosis”.
The decision to revoke his licence was ultimately made based on the diagnosis rather than the prescription.