There is a way to use guards for individual (or multiple) attributes.

@debug: true;

header {
    /* guard for attribute */
    & when (@debug = true) {
        background-color: yellow;
    }
    /* guard for nested class */
    #title when (@debug = true) {
        background-color: orange;
    }
}

/* guard for class */
article when (@debug = true) {
    background-color: red;
}

/* and when debug is off: */
article when not (@debug = true) {
    background-color: green;
}

...and with Less 1.7; compiles to:

header {
    background-color: yellow;
}
header #title {
    background-color: orange;
}
article {
    background-color: red;
}