An employee at Princeton University in New Jersey has been placed on leave for using medical marijuana to treat his inflammatory bowel disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Don DeZarn, who is also a U.S. Navy veteran, said he had to choose between his job and using medical marijuana. Princeton officials reportedly told him he wouldn’t be able to continue working as the senior operations manager of campus dining at the university, even though DeZarn claims he didn’t use the drug while working. He did say, however, that he might need to use it during an “emergency situation” and would let university officials know if that was ever the case.

Princeton officials, meanwhile, state that he was never “cornered” into a decision between his health and job. Martin Mbugua, a spokesman for Princeton, stated that DeZarn was put on paid leave and asked to discuss “reasonable accommodations” for his illness(es).

But DeZarn, who is also a marijuana legalization activist who is a New Jersey congressional candidate for the Legalize Marijuana Party, probably won’t be avoiding marijuana use. “I haven’t hid from that issue,” he said, according to The Daily News. “I consider myself an activist.”

New Jersey is one of 23 states to have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana for specific conditions, such as epilepsy. Senate Bill 119 protects “patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes.” But New Jersey law also states that employers don’t have to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace. It appears that in this situation, it’s unclear whether employers can completely bar employees from using medical marijuana outside of work.

DeZarn hopes to work things out with the university: “It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” DeZarn told “It’s a great place to work. I’m just hopeful that this whole thing has just been an oversight on someone’s part. I hope somebody up the chain of command will look at what I’m requesting and have an open mind and some common sense.”