WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the time drawing for the District Columbia City Council’s final vote on a medical marijuana bill, At-large Councilman David Catania, head the committee overseeing the issue,  is confident that it will pass.

The Council has already taken two votes on “Initiative 59,” which has received overwhelming support of District residents. And, according to Catania spokesman Ben Young, whether Congress gives its nod remains to be seen.

“That’s always an unknown,” Young told the AFRO. “But we think that it’s been crafted in a way that prevents a lot of abuses (as in states such as Colorado and California) and capitalizes on the experiences of other jurisdictions with similar laws on their books.” According to Young, the Council’s bill is tightly controlled “and put together in a way that makes sense.”  He said he expects the governing body’s vote to occur around May 4.

Asked if there have been ongoing concerns about dispensaries and home cultivation, Young responded that the bill allows for the latter, permitting no more than two plants per year among households.

He also said that of the 14 states which permit use of the drug for medicinal purposes, 13 allow home cultivation.  Only New Jersey has yet to come to terms on the matter.

Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham said on Tuesday he grappled with the last-ditch efforts by individuals who had concerns regarding home cultivation and wanted to limit dispensaries to nonprofit organizations. Graham said that while he was considering their amendments he hadn’t decided if they’d get his support.