Unemployment V. Minh 1990 Case Study

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EMPLOYMENT DIVISION v. SMITH 1990 Anna Hernandez Block 2 November, ~, 2011 Two Native Americans worked as counselors for a private drug rehabilitation clinic, and ingested peyote -- a powerful hallucinogen -- as part of their religious ceremonies as members of the Native American Church. As a result of this conduct, the rehab clinic fired the counselors. The counselors filed a claim for unemployment compensation, and the government denied them benefits because the reason for their dismissal was considered “misconduct”. At that time intentional possession of peyote was a crime under Oregon law unless you were able to prove it was for a religious use. The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, saying that it denied them unemployment…show more content…
Religious beliefs frequently have the performance of some sort of physical act such as; assembling for worship, consumption of bread and wine, abstaining from certain types foods or behaviors. Peyote is a sacrament in the Native American Church; so members must choose between carrying out the ritual of their religious beliefs and avoid the criminal prosecution. .. Eating peyote is "an act of worship and communion," a "means for communicating with the Great Spirit." But peyote is also a Schedule I drug, meaning Congress has found that it has a high potential for abuse, not currently accepted for medical use, and a lack of safety standards for using the drug under medical supervision. The Native American Church ritual in which peyote is consumed is heavily supervised, partly excusing the crime in Oregon's health and safety concerns. The Native American Church discourages nonreligious use of peyote, and promotes family harmony, self-reliance, and abstinence from
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