Chile to allow sale of marijuana-derived drugs

Chile plans to allow the sale of marijuana-derived medication in pharmacies, a government health official said Friday.

President Michelle Bachelet is expected to approve the new regulation being drawn up, Undersecretary of Public Health Jaime Burrows told local media.

The measure would require strict oversight, including authorization by a specialist and inventory checks, Burrows said.

Under current Chilean law, cannabis-derived drugs are not allowed to be sold and those who want to obtain them must petition the IPS public health institute to import them from abroad.

The only such drug that has been allowed for import is Sativex, a mouth spray used to alleviate symptoms of .

In Chile, cannabis is considered a hard drug and selling or growing it is punishable by law.

Parliament is currently debating legislation aimed at decriminalizing the consumption of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes.

Elsewhere in South America, Uruguay both legalized marijuana and created a regulated market for it in 2013.

© 2015 AFP

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