March 17, 2017 | 07:59 PM
This sounds like he is trying to turn this medical marijuana into a factory market. And that's not what it's about. If he's has his hands In a tobacco market he shouldn't be allowed to try to play this as a "creating jobs" deal. It just sounds like he's in it for all the wrong reasons, medical marijuana is supposed to be a helpful alternative to pharmaceutical, heavy drug use alternative, cancer treatment alternative. It's supposed to be grown and purposes with good intentions. Sure turn it into a grow opportunity, job opportunities, use the income as Colorado has and this town will go places. Lower taxes on the people and tax the medical marijuana and watch profits come in. There's more grounds to learn on this matter. More economical opportunities to lower city taxes and watch the people be willing to buy medical marijuana and see the financial increase storm in. Put the money towards roads, schools, homeless, rebuild Lapeer on the revenue of mmj.
March 17, 2017 | 07:13 PM
I live in Rich Township, 1/4 mile from a medical marijuana farm in Tuscola County. The smell is HORRIBLE in the fall time, when it ripens. It smells similar to skunk, only far worse. We cannot even open our doors and windows when the wind is blowing from the west. Please take in consideration what the neighbors will have to put up with.
March 16, 2017 | 10:25 AM
March 14, 2017 | 10:41 AM
I grew up in Imlay City when John Topie Worked at Coserelli's party store. He didn't treat myself or my friends good at all. He acted like he was better than us. Times sure have changed.
March 03, 2017 | 06:14 PM
I am proud to call John my Brother in Law. Part of rehabilatation is contrition. John has admitted his guilt. We get second chances in this country. John will not relapse when he is released. The pain that caused his addiction has been cured. Miracles do happen. May God continue to bless my Brother!
February 24, 2017 | 11:39 AM
I knew John and his family for sixteen years while I was a principal, teacher, and coach in the Imlay City school system. He was, and I'm sure still is, a wonderful friend and father and exceptionally honorable man. I encourage the judge to take that into account when John's sentencing comes up. He's suffered enough. Please give him and his family his life back. Thank you.
February 24, 2017 | 11:34 AM
Mr. Topie is not only a great teacher but a great man as well. Yes he made a mistake, a mistake that will haunt him for the rest of his life, but it's not just his fault, if he had not been given pills this would have never happened. All Dr's are about money now a days and it makes me sick. This man has committed a crime, yes I get that, but in my eyes and I'm sure in others eyes as well, he has paid his time for his crime. He knows what he has done wrong and is beating himself up more than any of u can imagine. Remember what they say, dont judge a book by its cover. Mr. Topie has done more good over the years than he has done bad. If the judge has a heart or any sense at all he'd see this and give Mr. Topie time served. Best Of luck Mr. Topie
February 24, 2017 | 10:03 AM
Is there a way to call or contact the judge as a form of petition? Many people know John and would support this I think.
February 24, 2017 | 01:04 AM
Tears are rolling down my face as I read this article... I pray that the woman at the pharmacy has not been too traumatized by the actions of this mans darkest days. I hope that she has received any counseling she may need too as I could imagine she was terrified. I hope she is able to find it in her heart to forgive him, if she hasn't already. It is so sad and shocking to read that this has happened to someone so late in their life. It just goes to show that addiction does not discriminate as it knows no age, race, reglion, or gender.
I pray for his sentence to be time served. In addition to some time in a reputable rehabilitation center, as I have heard that it is easier for addicts to get drugs in them as well... May all those involved receive the support, care, and love they could ever need.
February 23, 2017 | 11:53 PM
He did a crime he should be charged to fullest penalty. He should rot there in jail for what he did and what the effects he did to the people at that pharmacy. Shouldn't of thought twice before what you did. It doesn't matter what you all did before the crime. You need to pay for what you did. If you can't do the time, you shouldn't of done the crime.
John Topie Sentencing
February 23, 2017 | 11:22 PM
John stayed at our home in CT for several months while his wife Louise worked with my wife in programs educating young children. John was a wonderful, sincere, loving and most dedicated family man, and clearly a man of significant accomplishments, as summarized in this very well written article. He touched many peoples lives in a positive and constructive way. I knew him before his major back surgery and his dependency on these doctor prescribed drugs. Falling prey to excessive medications prescribed by doctors (the doctor knows best) is a sham by the medical profession. John should be released from incarceration ASAP (he has more than dearly paid for his crime), be returned to his loved ones, and given the opportunity to once again contribute positively to society. That is the least we can do as a civilized, caring, compassionate and understanding country....
Pembroke Pines, FL
February 23, 2017 | 09:07 PM
This is just ridiculous. He is not a criminal, he is a good person that was given an addictive drug after following dr.'s orders. The medical professionals need to be accountable for this, not the patient. His addiction took over and he did what he did. He has done his time and needs to be released to help others in the same situation.
February 23, 2017 | 04:58 PM
I do feel that addicts need help but many don't make threats nor commit robberies. Thinking he thought this out well
I'm wondering what this writer would have written if it was a young black man?
February 23, 2017 | 03:32 PM
I do not know John Topie, but I am related to someone like him. One of my fears is that someday my family member will be sitting in jail, but no one will rise up to defend him. My family member used to be a good friend and good member of the community. Then an injury, multiple surgeries and multiple pain meds. The medical community needs to be held accountable and find better ways to manage pain safely. It is not only ruining the people taking the drugs, it's ruining whole families and ultimately, communities.
Family member of an perscription drug addict
February 23, 2017 | 02:06 PM
John was a father-in-law to my son. All heard about him was what wonderful person to have in the community. All he has done for the children he has influenced. Time served and 3 years of community service would help more people then sending him to jail for what his doctor did to this man! The letter of the law has sent many people to prison who should have gottin help not incareration.
February 23, 2017 | 12:47 PM
John, has paid his dues, and his punishment should be time served. And should get professional counseling that he, needs. Keep the Faith John!!
John M. Gonzales
February 23, 2017 | 12:38 PM
Awesome teacher and coach does not need to be locked up such a shame the world we live in when crimnals walk the streets daily..under the influence of a drug ...rehab yes but not jail !In our prayers John Topie...keep the faith!
February 23, 2017 | 11:44 AM
Armed robbery is a crime. Doctors who issue scripts for controlled substances without any continued follow up ar.e criminals. I have known John as a neighbor merchant, coworker and friend for over 50 years
Let his punishment be time served. Give now the professional counseling he needs. John has paid for his bad deeds. Please give him the support needs
St. Michael, MN
February 23, 2017 | 11:44 AM
I don't know John personally, but feel for his situation, family and friends. He is a drug addict- if this were a minor the DA would be going for the doctors...not the victim. John doesn need to be held accountable but so do these free prescribing doctors getting kickbacks to keep prescribing these drugs. Judge Halowka has a duty to hold everyone accountable- just not the victim. I pray for all involved....horrible thing that really could happen to any of us. Good speed!
Plantation, Fl-Formerly of Lapeer, M
February 23, 2017 | 10:50 AM
We've known John Topie for many years. He couched our boys in sports. We feel the injustice in giving John more time in jail is so unproductive. The idea of community service, a speaker to make people aware of the legal distribution of opioids, how doctors need to be held responsible for their actions as well is do much more important. True, John did go about acquiring to obtain his needed medication was wrong, we feel he has already surged enough time to learn that lesson. We wish you good luck.
Donald & Bertha Deitch
February 23, 2017 | 10:26 AM
I was very moved by your recent article on John. It's clear to me that John is the real victim here. I hope and expect Judge Holowka will have enough compassion to end this nightmare with a time served sentence. I'm praying for you John. Good luck!
John Topie's sentencing
February 23, 2017 | 10:10 AM
He has admitted a huge mistake, but I cannot recall a better person I ever met in IC. This is an otherwise honorable family man and revered member of his community. I hope the judge will consider monitored community service to help others avoid these consequences from addiction as a much more valuable way for John to pay a debt that he is sorry for and obviously accepts.
Green Valley, Arizona
John Topie fentanyl addiction
February 23, 2017 | 10:00 AM
John is paying the price for his addiction and so is his family. He did not do this crime, it was the addicting drug fentanyl, and the doctor or doctors who continued to prescribe it. I hope the Judge can find another way he can pay back for his crime other than a prison sentence.
Caring thoughts to John and the families effected by this.
This epidemic starts with the medical, insurance companies and t
February 23, 2017 | 09:01 AM
My 79 year old mother is going through the same addiction thanks to doctors. She had two major back surgeries in one year. The doctors prescribed Oxycodone and when that no longer worked from opioid tolerance, they ADDED Fentanyl patches along WITH the Oxycodone by mouth and it nearly killed her. She was in constant respiratory distress from slowed breathing. The ERs treated her like a criminal when it was doctors that did this to her! She had to go to rehab to detox at her elderly age and is still suffering because her brain is no longer able to create its own pain relief. She went from being an active, happy person to a miserable, pain ridden shell of who she was. The doctors would have just kept giving her the drugs until she died had we not stepped in to help. They have no tools in their box to handle chronic pain and it is all because the Medical paradigm is only truly broken. All it is now is "sick care" where you walk in and they get you out ASAP with a piece of paper. They are too busy to care. The new medical world is nothing more than the tetail sales arm and a marriage with the greedy pharmaceutical industry. The medical establishment and insurance cimpanies will not pay for alternative treatments that would help with chronic pain. If we do not make laws to force insurance companies to pay for less expensive, non drug pain management therapies, this epidemic will continue to plague us as an entire nation.
February 23, 2017 | 08:51 AM
I think he has spent enough time behind bars. At the most give him probation if you must. Then put him in some kind of treatment program. That can give him the help that he needs.
February 23, 2017 | 08:42 AM
Although I do not know John personally, it is clear to me that John is also a victim. His doctors should be held accountable. They are not only leading their patient through a very dark tunnel of despair, they are taking his family and friends through it as well.
As patients, it is our responsibility to question the long term effects of the medicines, we are prescribed. Pain can be a, driven force that blurs ones vision from right and wrong. The doctor is trusted to share every option of treatment.
February 23, 2017 | 08:37 AM
Praying for John and his family. So sad for them. Shows what doctors do... give you an addictive drug. We've all known pain, but now he and family are experiencing another pain.
Have mercy on this great man in the name of Jesus. Smen
Gale Turner Brown
Imlay City _ Clio
February 23, 2017 | 07:39 AM
I was blessed to experience Mr. Topie as both math teacher and coach many years ago. He was a very driven man who took his work and the success of his students very seriously. I just want to thank you for writing this article. I honor you for presenting such a horrific life script with such dignity. Thank you for portraying Mr. Topie as the man he is at the core; a man that has been merely broken by the epidemic of addiction. My prayers will be said for he, his beautiful wife, and his children.
February 23, 2017 | 07:23 AM
John....Every saint has a past--every sinner has a future...may the judge have mercy....Addictions in our society go farther than drugs.....alcohol, pornography, power, fame fortune, gossip, etc. There is a Hope and future for John. It has been said that our 'messes' are our message...we are all messy....use your 'mess' for good John...l'm praying for that for you....