By Madeline Farber
Published January 30, 2019
The Medical Board of California has revoked the license of a doctor in Los Angeles who told a father to give marijuana cookies to his son as a way to treat the boy’s temper tantrums.
The doctor, William S. Eidelman — a “natural medicine physician,” according to his website — made the recommendation in September 2012, according to the board. However, the board made the decision to revoke the doctor’s license in December.
Eidelman made the recommendation after the father, who has not been identified, brought his then 4-year-old son to see the doctor because his son “had episodes of uncontrollable behavior and temper tantrums” which was causing the boy trouble at school, according to the state medical board's decision.
After Eidelman met with the pair for roughly 20 or 30 minutes, he diagnosed the boy with a “probable combination” of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Bipolar Disorder before recommending the father give his son “small quantities of cannabis in cookies,” the board wrote.
It’s important to note the board did not revoke his license because he recommended giving marijuana to a small child. In fact, "it has not been established, by clear and convincing evidence, that the recommendation of medical marijuana to [the boy], with his father's consent, violated the standard of care," the board's decision states.
Rather, the medical board said the doctor “committed gross negligence" because Eidelman during the appointment with the 4-year-old and his father “did not observe the boy having a temper tantrum or uncontrollable behavior.” He also did not contact the boy’s school for more information on his alleged behavior, nor did he obtain any medical records for the boy or refer him to a psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis, among other reported missteps. Eidelman also “relied on family history” to make his diagnosis, which the board in its decision said “is not itself a symptom of either condition.”
The board began to investigate Eidelman after the boy’s school “became aware that the child was being given cannabis.” The boy’s father reportedly asked a nurse at the school to give his son another marijuana-laced cookie during lunchtime because his son was misbehaving that day.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office and child protective services were subsequently notified, which sparked an investigation. This later led the medical board’s review.
On his website, Eidelman — who was previously placed on probation in 2004 after giving marijuana prescriptions to undercover police officers without a proper reason, according to documents — said he is appealing the board’s decision. He also asked his patients to write letters to the California Medical Board on his behalf.
While the board’s revocation of his license was effective as of Jan. 4, Eidelman is continuing to practice at this time because a San Francisco County Superior Court judge issued a stay of the revocation pending his appeal, he wrote. Documents filed in The Superior Court of California Tuesday show the temporary stay was granted.
“From the beginning of my career, I’ve been looking for things that really worked and weren’t toxic. And cannabis really works,” Eidelman told The Los Angeles Times of his decision to recommend marijuana as a treatment, adding he has written “more than 10,000 letters recommending cannabis to patients over the last 20 years.”
In a statement to Fox News on Wednesday, Eidelman said he is "confident he will prevail" in the hearing, which is scheduled for March 12.
“The whole prosecution was wrong from the first step of the investigation to the abuses of discretion by the Administrative Law Judge,” Eidelman said. “I am confident I will prevail in the hearing."