Due to his status as a nationally recognized legal professional, Attorney Thomas J. Simeone is often requested for comment by journalists regarding breaking legal news stories on a range of topics — including those that are outside his primary practice area. For example, after the news broke that Oregon decriminalized hard drugs, Avail Journalist Terri Williams consulted Attorney Simeone over how this law and similar laws might affect landlords.

First, Attorney Simeone highlighted the importance of distinguishing “decriminalization” from “legalization,” as people generally confuse the two. “Decriminalization” does not mean that something is now legal; per law, it only means that it is no longer considered a crime. Therefore, you will not face criminal penalties (such as a felony or misdemeanor), but you could still be subject to fines if caught by law enforcement.

Second, Williams requested that Attorney Simeone comments on whether landlords have any legal recourse should they desire their properties to be free of hard drugs, even if decriminalized. Pointing to other legal activities that landlords have prohibited, Attorney Simeone explained that landlords can still prohibit hard drugs in their properties. Specifically, Simeone noted that “landlords are not required to permit every legal action.” For example, having a pet is legal, but landlords have the right to prohibit them on their properties — the same right could be applied to hard drugs. All landlords would need to do is add a provision prohibiting hard drugs in their leases.

Attorney Simeone has been featured by MSNBC concerning a civil rights action his client filed against the Library of Congress and by WJLA and Univision regarding a wrongful death case brought forth on behalf of two victims of police brutality. He has also been featured by The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Washington Post, among others.

To speak with Attorney Thomas Simeone, contact Simeone & Miller, LLP online.