According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in America, the consumption of alcohol leads to about 88,000 deaths a year. Tobacco use accounts for 480,000 deaths per year. To say that marijuana contributes to zero deaths a year would be ignorant, but it is true that marijuana does not damage anyones physical health to the point of death. Thats right; there have been no recorded cases of overdose of marijuana in America. In fact, according to a study noted in the Huffington Post, you would need to consume 20,000-40,000 times the amount of weed in a joint to overdose on the drug. Although the drug is not directly life threatening to your physical health, it does lead people to perform actions that are not only harmful to that individual, but to that persons surroundings as well. But how different is that from alcohol? The NHTSA shows that alcohol related driving deaths stole the lives of 10,076 people, accounting for 31% of deaths in automobile accidents in 2013. According to Drugabuse.gov, studies show that 4-14% of drivers that sustained an injury or death in an automobile were under the influence of THC, which is the chemical in marijuana. Are these facts saying that marijuana is more safe and healthier than alcohol? You can decide that on your own. Republicans and old fashioned conservatives believe that if marijuana becomes legal in all 50 states, it will lead to a country of unmotivated, low life stoners. The truth of it is, barely anything will change if the drug becomes legal to the public recreationally. It is no secret that nowadays just about any one can get the drug with ease. And some states are lucky enough to be bordering Washington or Colorado, where citizens have the legal right to enter those states, purchase weed, and bring it back home effortlessly. If weed were to become legal in all 50 states, no, the whole country would not go up in smoke. The people that smoke now would keep smoking, and few non smokers would take up smoking just because it became legal. Instead, weed sales could be taxed instead of the substance being distributed through the black market and on the streets. It would truly be a win-win for the United States if we were to legal the recreational use of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana could be compared to the end of the prohibition era. By allowing alcohol to be consumed legally, the government had more control over the regulations of production of the product; how it was consumed, and by whom it was consumed. The same could apply to marijuana, since if the substance was legalized, the government and individual states could benefit and have more control over how the substance is used. The drug could bring a lot of income to individual states, and could reduce or eliminate the illegal international drug trade that has been a problem in our country for the past decade. Legalizing marijuana, the nations largest cash crop, will bring the drug under the rule of law, providing economic opportunities and jobs in which would strengthen our economy. Another beneficial value to the legalization of marijuana is the fact that it would be one less thing that crime units would have to worry about. Instead of trying to bust consumers of the drug, officers, which are low in numbers in modern day America, could focus on bigger and more practical issues like the safety of the public. Even though it would be legalizing a drug, it really would be helping to keep the public just as safe, if not safer. The New York Times hit it on the head when they stated in an article, We must treat drug use for what it is: a health, not a criminal, issue. Although there should be limits to which drugs are legal, marijuana is a drug that is used by a large portion of U.S. citizens today, and that number would not drastically change if legalized throughout the nation. It is senseless to make a drug that is so easily accessible illegal, because we are only crippling ourselves as a country. If legalized, the drug would bring in jobs, tax money, and a stronger, wealthier economy. Really, America has nothing to lose from legalizing marijuana, and thats why it should be acted upon as soon as possible.