Pubdate: Wed, 08 Nov 2000
Date: 11/08/2000
Source: USA Today (US)
Author: Chris Buors

USA TODAY reader Mel Maurer makes the classic case made by all
''believers'' in addiction (''Addiction healing is key in Downey
case,'' Letters, Monday).

Maurer feels sorry because he mistakenly thinks actor Robert Downey
Jr. is suffering from a weak will. What if the reverse were true?

I think Downey is of extremely strong will -- so strong that he
chooses to use drugs no matter what. He must have an iron will since
drug taking is volitional, and the theory of addiction never has been
proved. Drug taking is a vice -- not a crime or a medical disorder.

Helping people who don't want help at the point of a gun is called
persecution. If a man wants to take poison, that is no business of the
state. The state has no business ''saving'' people from themselves.

What if we just leave Downey and millions of other drug users

Harming people such as Downey by giving them a criminal record in the
name of helping them with a drug problem is perverse.

Chris Buors,
Winnipeg, Manitoba