SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Central Coast resident and business owner David Brian Drew has been pardoned for drug related convictions dating back to the late 80s and early 90s.
"What was happening in the 80s, it was a big scene, drugs were running rampant and I just got off the wrong track at that time in my life," said Drew in an over-the-phone interview.
Drew owns David Drew Productions, the entertainment company which has helped bring in big name artists like Blake Shelton and Kid Rock to Salinas.
Governor Jerry Brown issued the pardon on Christmas Eve. In it, he says Drew has "lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law abiding citizen."
"Oh, I was floored, I was elated, when I heard the news, it was overwhelming," said Drew.
Drew was arrested and convicted in Monterey County for having drugs. Then less than two years after being released, he was sentenced again, this time for selling drugs.
"That really gave me a lot of time to sit and think and reassess what I was doing in life," he said. "Ultimately I decided enough was enough and I was going to change my life."
Drew was discharged from his last prison sentence on October 10, 2000. He was first recommended for pardon on May 15th, 2018.
"You don't give up, you keep fighting. No matter how bad it gets, it will get better if you are determined and you keep fighting, you can get there," he said. "You know, I made some bad choices in life, and I made that decision not to give up and I never did."
California Gov. Jerry Brown continued his Christmas tradition of dispensing second chances to other convicted felons, issuing 143 pardons and 131 commutations on Monday.
In one of his last acts as governor, Brown also ordered new testing of evidence in a high-profile, 1983 quadruple murder for which inmate Kevin Cooper and others have maintained that he was framed.
Cooper was convicted of killing Doug and Peggy Ryen, their daughter Jessica and 11-year-old Chris Hughes.
The outgoing governor has now granted 1,332 pardons and 283 commutations during the last eight years -- the most of any governor in modern state history, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.