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 and production of cannabis-derived medicines at pharmacies, providing they have been revised prior to their release onto the market.
The decree establishes that “pharmaceutical products which contain cannabis, cannabis resin, extracts and colorants can be sold to the public in pharmacies or laboratories providing they have been submitted to tests.” La Hora reports.
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. The initial ruling, enabling a person to carry 10 grams of the drug for personal use, was soon reduced to only two.
Chile is joining a trend of easing restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use across Latin America, with Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico also revising current laws.
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.