Outgoing City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden answered a burning question on Wednesday, coming out in favor of developing a synthetic marijuana spray to be used for medicinal purposes.
Frieden, who is leaving early next month to become President Obama's chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he favored developing a spray form of Marinol, a manmade form of cannabis that is a legal medicinal alternative for marijuana.
Marinol is prescribed for treating vomiting in chemotherapy patients and other uses. It provides relief, not a high. But it comes only in pill form in the U.S., although a spray form has been developed in Canada.
The marijuana question cropped up during the last of many City Council budget hearings Frieden has had to endure in his seven years as the city's health chief.
It was mischievously posed by City Councilman Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn).
"I do think there's actually a right answer here, um, or at least one right answer," Frieden said as he began to diplomatically lay out his case.
He noted that smoked marijuana is faster acting than the pill form of Marinol.
BY Frank Lombardi
May 28, 2009
NY Daily News