Gov. Evers reacts to marijuana decriminalization, Granite Peak expansion

WAUSAU, Wis (WSAW) -- On Thursday, Governor Tony Evers took a tour of Granite Peak Ski Area as the facility continues to prepare for opening day which is November 16th.

His visit comes a day after state Democrats proposed a marijuana decimalization bill and two days after the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommended to revise the master ski expansion plan for Rib Mountain State Park. The governor addressed both topics during his tour.

“I certainly support the tourism industry in the state of Wisconsin and especially here at Granite Peak,” said Governor Evers. “Looking at how things work behind the scene and how they care about safety, I can imagine why we wouldn’t want to have an expansion.”

The expansion would add roughly 10 more ski runs on the east and west side of Rib Mountain. The DNR says they are working with Granite Peak to understand the expansion request.

In the meantime, the governor also showed his support for decriminalizing marijuana throughout the state. Gov. Evers says one of his top priorities is criminal justice reform and part of that is decriminalizing marijuana.

“I'll wait to see if the bill gets through but I think it's a small piece of criminal justice reform. We have people who get in trouble with the law for very, very small amounts of marijuana and it just seems illogical to infuse them into the criminal justice system for some very small types of things," stated Evers.

The bill would decriminalize possessing, manufacturing, or for possessing with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or deliver up to 28 grams of marijuana or two marijuana plants. The bill would also clear people previously convicted for a marijuana offense if the marijuana amount was 28 grams or less and would no longer allow marijuana odor to be enough probable cause for officers to make an arrest.