Despite Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement last week that dispensaries would only be prosecuted if they were violating state and federal law, the Drug Enforcement Agency raided a popular medical marijuana dispensary at 12th and Howard Streets in San Francisco yesterday Wednesday, while patients chanted: "Our medicine is marijuana! Listen to Barack Obama!"

Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used for medicinal purposes that operate under sanction of state law.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard St. in San Francisco’s South of Market district mid-afternoon.

They hauled out large plastic bins overflowing with marijuana plants and loaded several pickup trucks parked out front with grow lights and related equipment used to farm the plants indoors.

The dispensary had been operating with a temporary permit issued by the Department of Public Health.

San Franciscans are eager to find out from our elected officials if the local police department will protect our medical dispensaries from rogue federal agents operating without sanction of the United States Attorney General.

A source in San Francisco city government who was informed about the raid said the DEA’s action appeared to be prompted by alleged financial improprieties related to the payment of sales taxes. DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry, spokeswoman for the local office, would not comment on that information.

Attorney General Eric Holder needs to get his cowboys under control. Emmalynn’s Clinic operates a large compassionate care program for patients who cannot afford the retail price. Poor people with no other options will go without their medicine because of this raid. And other dispensaries must be wondering where the DEA will raid next.

The DEA needs to listen to the boss in Washington. And San Francisco elected officials need to ensure their constituents are protected from cowboy raids.