By Andrew Longstreth
INDIANAPOLIS – Veterans and citizens across Indiana traveled to the Statehouse Tuesday morning to have their voices heard by legislators on issues important to both veterans and their loved ones.
It was the fourth annual Indiana Military Veterans Legislative Day hosted by Reps. Jim Baird, R-Greencastle, and John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis.
Currently there are 16 bills that have been filed during the 2018 legislative session addressing issues like tax deductions, hunting opportunities, and the legalization and use of medical marijuana for veterans.
Veterans began the celebration with a march in unison to the Statehouse where they were greeted by legislators and citizens alike and to listen to guest speakers and organizers including keynote speaker Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Navy veteran.
Holcomb talked about the benefits that the military has brought to people across the world, and the sacrifices that soldiers and their families make to defend the nation.
The event was created so that veterans from all branches of the military could able to meet face to face with their legislators and discuss issues on a more personal level.
Various organizations and veterans took advantage of the event to promote their own individual causes and issues. Organizations such as Bosma Enterprises, a non-profit organization to help Hoosiers who are visually impaired, and NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), had booths at the event.
With House Bill 1106 concerning the legalization of marijuana, groups such as
Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis, Inc. used this opportunity to meet with legislatures and make the case to pass House Bill 1106, which would legalize medical marijuana
Many veterans have been showing support for HB 1106 and are optimistic about its growing support and outcome.
“It’s been snowballing,” said Army veteran Jimmy Giordano, a member of Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis. “We’re hoping this year’s the year.”
FOOTNOTE: Andrew Longstreth is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.