Columbus Police Department gears up to get ZAZA out of town

Zaza Ban

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Zaza sellers and users beware, the Columbus Police Department is gearing up to roll out its plans for getting ZAZA off the shelves and out of town.

WCBI spoke with CPD public information officer, about the department’s timeline for getting ZAZA out of town.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Columbus City Council voted to ban the sale, possession, and use of ZAZA in the city.

The unregulated drug is sold as a dietary supplement at several area convenience stores and gas stations, but there have been concerns over its safety and potential for abuse.

The Columbus Police Department said they’re going to be realistic but not patient with people caught with or selling ZAZA.

“In an emergency situation require, you can’t normally pass an ordinance with an immediate unless it is an emergency,” City Attorney Jeff Turnage said.

One by one, community members lined up to speak about why ZAZA should be banned in the city. And as of Tuesday night, a unanimous vote officially banned the sale, possession, and use in the City of Columbus.

Now the question remains, what is the timeline for merchants and users of ZAZA?

“I am not going to give a timeline to say if it’s going to be what sort of time it’s going to be; we are going to be realistic if you receive notification from taking it off the shelf,” Public Information Officer Joe Dillion said.

According to Dillion, in the coming weeks, CPD will issue a notice warning each merchant to stop selling ZAZA, and if the merchant does not heed the warning.

“It is a very expensive penalty for that. First of all, the penalty can be up to 6 months in jail and a 1,000-dollar fine for each possession,” Dillion said.

And for those wondering about the sense of urgency to ban ZAZA in the city.

“Immediate threat to public health an immediate danger, so with that, you don’t have to have a waiting period cause it’s not going to be any better in 30 days,” Dillion said.

No word yet about the bill making its way through the Mississippi Legislature however if it passes it would ban ZAZA statewide. Neighboring states, Alabama and Tennessee, have already passed bans.

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