CHICAGO - A U.S. Army veteran from Mexico with a felony drug conviction has taken his deportation case to a federal appeals court.

Miguel Perez Jr. came to the country legally. He joined the Army in 2001 and served two tours in Afghanistan.

However, the 39-year-old faces deportation because of the drug case. He's been in custody at a Wisconsin detention facility since he was released from prison in 2016.

His case was argued Wednesday before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It's unclear when the judges will rule.

Treatment Court Offers Second Chance for Veterans

Nov 13, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Illinois Circuit Courts will be required to have a special treatment court for veterans, starting next year. The initiative aims to reduce recidivism among soldiers who are struggling with mental health and addiction. The tenth circuit court in Peoria already offers a veteran’s treatment court and is awaiting certification to meet the Jan. 1st deadline.

A hospital system's study of Chicago neighborhoods finds wide health disparities, including with post-traumatic stress disorder.  The Sinai Urban Health Institute released a survey drawing upon responses from roughly 2,000 residents in nine Chicago neighborhoods.  

Illinois' experiment with medical marijuana has gotten a boost thanks to a 2 1/2-year pilot program extension and the inclusion of two more medical conditions.  The extension and inclusion of post-traumatic stress disorder and some terminal illnesses are part of legislation Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Thursday. 

A Cook County judge has ordered Illinois to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment in a case filed by a military veteran.  Judge Neil Cohen  ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days.  

Governor Bruce Rauner has rejected adding new medical conditions to Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program.

Just days ago, supporters pushed to expand the list protested at the State Capitol.

Caprice Sweatt said medical cannabis helps military veterans cope with debilitating symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or P-T-S-D.

"We're pleading with the governor to hear our voices, to please approve the eight conditions that are so desperately needed for sick people in Illinois."

 A statewide coalition plans to launch a social media campaign to press Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration to expand the medical marijuana pilot program to more patients. 

 The Cannabis Patient Advocacy Coalition says its campaign will include short video testimonials from Illinois residents. It kicks off today with an Iraq War veteran asking for post-traumatic stress disorder to be added to the list of eligible conditions. 

An expert panel in October recommended adding eight medical conditions to the marijuana treatment list.

An Illinois veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is asking a judge to reverse a state decision against adding PTSD to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

An advisory board voted to add eight health conditions to the list of illnesses that can be treated by marijuana in Illinois.