[Update: This post has been updated with additional detail on whether you can keep a pot plant on your front porch.]
Fans (and foes!) of marijuana, soda, cigarettes, plastic bags, and pornography have a lot riding on Tuesday’s election. But if measures regulating or deregulating these particular vices are passed, it’s a little unclear and inconsistent when the various measures take effect.
While some of the state measures take effect “immediately” (midnight on November 9), the reality is that each of the 58 counties in California has to send certified election results to the Secretary of State before the results are official. In a close election, some of these certifications might be delayed by a few days. But we’ve compiled this list of when various high-profile local or state ballot measures would take effect, if passed.
When The Soda Tax Would Go Into Effect
Let’s begin with the only City of San Francisco measure on this list, but the one that probably affects the most of us. If passed, the one-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and sugary beverages Measure V would go into effect on January 1, 2018 according to the controller’s statement in the SF Elections Voter Guide. So we have a little while!
When Recreational Marijuana Would Go Into Effect
Since the Prop. 64 Adult Use Of Marijuana Act is a state measure, you would indeed be able to toke right up the day after the election was certified
or even put that marijuana plant on your front porch. (CORRECTION: According to the text of Prop. 64, your marijuana plant must be "locked and not visible from a public place".)
However! You would still need a California medical marijuana card to buy from a cannabis dispensary, as they are only licensed to sell medical marijuana. "Adult use sales would commence Jan. 1, 2018, contingent on local government licensing," according to a statement from CA NORML (and several dispensaries I visited with my expired card).
But you are not going to be able to buy weed at your local corner store. “Californians would be able legally to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and smoke it the minute they wake up on Nov. 9,” the San Jose Mercury News reports, but “it may be as late as 2018 before additional pot sellers are licensed to sell it under Prop. 64.” So, don't get too excited about Budz 'R' Us opening on your block just yet.
When the Cigarette Tax Would Go Into Effect
The California Tobacco Tax Increase known as Prop. 56, which would slap on extra $2 tax on every pack of cigarettes sold in the state, would not go into effect until April 1, 2017 if passed.
When the Condoms in Porn Measure Would Go Into Effect
This one’s a little complicated. If passed, the Prop. 60 Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative would take effect immediately after the election is certified (November 9th, or later depending on how close the vote is). But there’s a whole new set of regulations that Cal/OSHA is going to have to determine, and they haven’t even started.
“The Proposition provides that Cal/OSHA will make new regulations consistent with the vague and ambiguous Proposition,” business attorney Karen Tynan said. “That's future regulations to be implemented in addition to this law.”
When the Plastic Bag Ban Would Go Into Effect
The proposed Prop. 67 statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, technically known as the Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum, would immediately go into effect at Midnight on November 9 or as soon as the election was certified.
However! If the Prop. 65 Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund also passes, you would be able to buy a plastic bag and the money would go to “a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board”.