Medical Board Revoke’s California Doctor’s License for Pot Prescription to Child After Improper Diagnosis

The Medical Board of California has revoked the medical license of a physician alleged to have violated the standard of care in prescribing medical marijuana to a 4-year-old child. In the case of The Medical Board of California v. Eidelman, the case was opened seven years ago, but the board revoked his license in December. Last month, the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, issued an order barring the physician from treating patients under the age of 18. San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys understand the order also barred the physician from issuing any recommendations for cannabis as a treatment for minors. medical marijuana attorney

As San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys at The Cannabis Law Firm can explain, a medical marijuana prescription is the only means by which a person under 21 can lawfully obtain cannabis in California. HS 11361 prohibits anyone over 18 from “furnishing, administering or giving any cannabis to a minor” under the age of 14, with conviction warranting a state prison sentence of 3-5 years. Both parents of children considering pursuing a medical marijuana prescription for their child as well as doctors need to be aware of how the law is applied, under what conditions an adult can be considered in violation of the law and what steps are needed to ensure your legal protection.

The state medical board issued medical marijuana prescription guidelines last April for doctors.

The guidelines indicate:

  • There must be an established physician-patient relationship, meaning they have taken responsibility for an aspect of the patient’s medical care, including diagnosis, treatment, counseling or referral.
  • The physician conduct a medical examination of patient before recording in the patient’s chart whether he/she has a serious medical condition for which medical marijuana is appropriate.
  • Recommendation for medicinal marijuana is at the doctor’s discretion, and may fall outside the the list of qualifying conditions outlined in the Compassionate Use Act (i.e., cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, seizures, severe nausea, AIDS, arthritis, anorexia, etc.), but should his or her determination on the results of clinical trials, medical literature, reports and credible anecdotal evidence.
  • B&P Code section 2525 prohibits physicians from recommending medical cannabis if the physician and/or immediate family has a financial interest in the facility where cannabis is obtained. No physician’s office should be located at a dispensary or cultivation center, and doctor’s should not hold a financial interest in these ventures. Cannabis clinics/dispensaries are barred from directly or indirectly employing doctors to provide recommendations for cannabis.

San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys understand that in this particular case, the physician is alleged to have violated the standard of care by improperly diagnosing a 4-year-old with ADHD and Bipolar Disorder for which the cannabis was then prescribed. FOX News reports the Los Angeles doctor instead prescribed the drug for treatment of “temper tantrums.” The issue came to light when the child’s father, upon receiving a call from the school reporting bad behavior, told the staff to give the child a marijuana-laced cookie. Upon investigation, the board indicated the father reported “uncontrollable behavior and temper tantrums.”

The board noted that the doctor’s license was not revoked because he recommended marijuana to a small child. It was for his alleged “gross negligence” in failing to properly diagnose the condition before making that recommendation. The doctor did not personally observe the boy’s alleged behavior, did not review medical records for the child or refer him to a psychiatrist or seek information from the boy’s school. Reliance on family history alone, the doctor said, was not adequate grounds for diagnosis.

State law has allowed marijuana prescriptions for minors since the 1990s. However, it’s not allowed on school campuses, after a bill- named Jojo’s Act – that would have allowed it was vetoed last year by the governor. The medical board noted state law bars discipline of a doctor for recommendation of cannabis as a treatment for a serious medical condition, BUT the board will take action if the doctor “fails to comply with accepted medical standards… the same ones that a reasonable and prudent physician when follow when recommending any medication.”

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

Doctor who prescribed pot cookies to 4-year-old for ‘temper tantrums’ gets license revoked over diagnosis, Jan. 30, 2019, By Madeline Farber, FOX News

More Blog Entries:

California Growers Association Drops Lawsuit Over Large-Scale Cannabis Cultivation, Jan. 24, 2019, San Bernardino Medical Marijuana Attorneys Blog