Here are previews of some editorials we're working on. Let us know what you think. The best comments will run alongside them in the print edition.

--It's certainly good news that Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreeed today to a runoff election against his nearest competitor, Abdullah Abdullah, and accepted the findings of massive fraud in the initial contest. His previous willingness to ignore the nearly 1 million fraudulent votes he got and to cling to power regardless was a huge obstacle to any hopes for a stable partnership between the U.S. and the Afghan government and tainted the question of whether the Obama administration should send more troops. Apparently all the hemming and hawing the president did over whether he would accept Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recommendation to increase the force there by another 40,000 wasn't wasted time; reports suggest that the administration was able to use the issue as leverage to get more cooperation from Mr. Karzai.

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But let's not get too excited just yet. We need to see that an election actually happens and is free and fair. Moreover, it's hard to imagine that the Karzai government has suddenly gotten religion and shed its corrupt ways forever. Mr. Karzai's decision is better than the alternative, but it's no guarantee that we have a clear path ahead to helping build a strong, stable Afghan society.

--The Obama administration announced this week that federal law enforcement officials will stop going after people who use marijuana with a doctor's prescription in states where that practice is legal. That's a good step. Chasing down cancer patients smoking a drug that's no more harmful than many others that can be freely prescribed hardly seemed like a good use of law enforcement time in the war on drugs.

Perhaps Maryland will take the cue and add a dose of sanity to its medical marijuana laws as well. It is not legal in Maryalnd for a doctor to prescribe marijuana, but it's only slightly illegal for people to use the drugs for medical purposes. A defendant charged with posession of marijuana is allowed to present evidence of medical need and, if a judge finds that convincing, is subject to a $100 fine. Essentially, we're treating the issue with a wink and a nod, an arrangement that forces those whose conditions can legitimately be helped by using the drug to procure it illegally, rather than in a controlled setting where their safety and the purity of the product can be assured.

We don't advocate going so far as California, where doctors have been known to prescribe marijuana for conditions so mild as anxiety disorders. The state should empower a commission, perhaps the Maryland Board of Physicians, to certify conditions for which marijuana use is an appropriate treatment.

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