Chile president: Marijuana no longer on ‘hard drug’ list

FILE - In this April 7, 2015 file photo, a marijuana plant stands on display during a press presentation of a legal medicinal marijuana harvest in the La Florida municipality of Santiago, Chile. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has signed a decree that removes marijuana from the country's list of hard drugs. The decree also authorizes the sale of cannabis-derived medicines at pharmacies. The document hasn't been published officially, but a copy was obtained Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo, File)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has signed a decree that removes marijuana from the country’s list of hard drugs.

The decree also authorizes the sale of cannabis-derived medicines at pharmacies.

The document hasn’t been published officially, but a copy was obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

Planting, selling and transporting marijuana remains illegal in Chile and carries prison terms of 5-10 years. But Congress is expected to soon debate wider changes to Chile’s drug law.

Chile is joining an international trend of easing restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use.

A Chilean municipality began planting the country’s first legal medical marijuana in October 2014 as part of a government-approved pilot program aimed at helping ease the pain endured by cancer patients.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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