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Constitutional Law Keyed to Maggs
Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith
Citation:494 U.S. 872 (1990)
Oregon law prohibits the knowing or intentional possession of a controlled substance unless the substance has been prescribed by a medical practitioner. The law defines controlled substance as a drug classified in Schedules I through V of the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Persons who violate this provision by possessing a controlled substance on Schedule I are guilty of Class B felony. Respondents Alfred Smith and Galen Black were fired from their jobs with a private drug rehabilitation organization because they ingested peyote for sacramental purposes at a ceremony of the Native American Church. When respondents applied to petitioner Employment Division for unemployment compensation, they were determined to be ineligible for benefits because they had been discharged for work-related misconduct.
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