Hollywood doctor who prescribed pot cookies to 4-year-old loses license

A US physician specializing in alternative medicine has lost his license over a case of diagnosing a 4-year-old with bipolar disorder and ADD/ADHD in a 30-minute appointment, and prescribing medical marijuana as treatment.

Dr. William Eidelman of Hollywood, California wasted no time in September 2012, when he recommended father of then a four-year-old boy to give his son cannabis so he would behave himself in school.

It took doctor Eidelman, a graduate of St. Louis Medical School, only from 20 to 30 minutes to diagnose the child with a “probable combination” of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder, according to the California medical board, which took up the case after school authorities sounded alarm over the unusual treatment.

During the brief appointment, the child appeared normal and alert – although a bit agitated from what well could have been a long day in school – according to the doctor’s own admission.

Eidelman, who previously prescribed medical marijuana to the boy’s father and his older brother to treat similar conditions, heavily relied on family history without taking into account more mundane explanation for the child’s temper tantrums reported by his father, the board found.

“Given that it was early in the school year, the child’s behavior might have been a function of separation anxiety of the type exhibited by young children when they begin school,” it said, noting that Eidelman “clearly did not look to simpler explanations” including that bipolar disorder is extremely rare in the patients of that age and “occurs prior to adolescence in less than one percent of cases.”

During the doctor’s interviews with the board, it became clear that he “had not even a basic understanding of the diagnostic criteria for either ADHD or Bipolar Disorder,” the board concluded.

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