- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

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.

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