NEW YORK: New York is planning to loosen its marijuana laws to allow limited use of the drug by people suffering serious illness, the New York Times reported on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), citing state officials. The newspaper reported on its website that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo—a long-time opponent of legalizing medical marijuana—was planning to announce the new guideline next week in an executive action. The decision would see New York mirror a growing list of states, which have taken an increasingly progressive stance on marijuana use. Colorado this week became the first US state to legalize the drug for recreational use. The Times reported that New York’s new policy would be far stricter than in California, which has already loosened its rules on medical marijuana. In California, people suffering from mild ailments can obtain prescriptions for the drug; in New York it will be made available in only 20 designated hospitals across the state for individuals suffering from cancer, glaucoma or other diseases. Saturday’s report said New York hoped to have the infrastructure for dispensing medical marijuana installed later this year. The move comes amid a nationwide campaign to relax laws on marijuana use, which has been buoyed by shifting attitudes on the drug.