Pubdate: Wed, 01 Nov 2000
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Los Angeles Times
Contact:  Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053
Fax: (213) 237-7679
Author: Steve Hoffman, Robert K. Vucovic


* Re "Downey's Latest Lapse Another Jarring Reversal," Nov. 28: I'm sorry 
to read of Robert Downey Jr.'s latest troubles with the law. Sorry that 
this gifted actor, quite possibly the best of his generation, will not be 
able to practice his craft because he'll probably be behind bars. Sorry 
that instead of making money and paying big taxes, he will instead probably 
be costing the system thousands of dollars to keep him incarcerated. And 
sorriest of all that this man who has killed nobody, stolen nothing, 
vandalized no property and harmed nobody but himself will probably be 
locked away as a scapegoat to appease booze-swilling, cigarette-smoking, 
prescription-pill-popping hypocrites who want to "send a message about drugs."

Steve Hoffman

Hermosa Beach

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* I am saddened by Downey's recent relapse and angered by his arrest. Drug 
addiction, like alcoholism, is a disease and should be treated as such. If 
a person is stopped for driving under the influence of any drug, or in 
other ways putting people or property at risk, that person should be 
arrested. The same should apply to anyone who provides alcohol or drugs to 
minors. A person should not be sucked into the criminal justice system for 
ingesting a substance to change the way he or she feels.

I pray that Downey finds whatever it will take to overcome his addiction, 
but I believe the matter should be left to Downey, his family and friends, 
his medical and mental health advisors and, most importantly, his God.

Robert K. Vukovic

Portland, Ore.
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