LOS ANGELES — The air inside the Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers Group was pungent with the aroma of premium hydroponic marijuana, but the proprietor, Don Duncan, said on Thursday that he was breathing a bit easier.
A day before, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had said that the federal authorities would no longer take action against medical marijuana dispensaries if they were in compliance with state and local laws.
While 13 states, including California, have laws allowing medical use of marijuana, they had not been recognized by the federal government. One of Mr. Duncan’s two marijuana dispensaries was a target, in 2007, of one of the scores of raids involving medical marijuana that the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted in Los Angeles during the Bush administration.
Mr. Duncan, a founder of Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, said he was meeting with officials at City Hall at the time of the raid, trying to work out a local ordinance under Proposition 215, which allows the medical use of marijuana.
“I got a call and found out they smashed through our window and pried open the back door,” Mr. Duncan said. Since then, he has operated only one dispensary, fearing he could again be a target of the federal authorities.
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