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Chile's Bachelet signs decree removing marijuana from 'hard drug' list

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, file photo, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet listens to Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina during their joint press conference at the National Palace in Guatemala City. President Bachelet has asked on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, for all her Cabinet ministers to submit their resignations. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, file photo, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet listens to Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina during their joint press conference at the National Palace in Guatemala City. President Bachelet has asked on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, for all her Cabinet ministers to submit their resignations. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)  ((AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File))

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.

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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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