An unsympathetic autobiography from a Klahowya grad

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.39.50 PMAbout two-thirds of the way through “Smoke: How a small-town girl accidentally wound up smuggling 7,000 pounds of marijuana with the Pot Princess of Beverly Hills,” 2004 Klahowya High School grad Meili Cady confesses:

“…I’d hung my last hope for happiness on my future with Ben. But I knew that he would leave me. If I’d had the choice, I’d leave me too. I couldn’t stand what I’d become. I was stuck with me and this bizarre, unbearable reality that was suffocating me.”

Having read the previous 186 pages, seeing Cady come to the conclusion, “I’d leave me, too,” might inspire you set the book down for a moment and, if you’re a demonstrative type, yell out, “You think?” Yelling at a book doesn’t count for normal activity in most settings, but page after page Cady gives you reason.

For the uninitiated, Cady moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue her Hollywood acting dreams. Over the years she landed some screen work, but not a lot. Finding a friend was tough, too. A mutual friend introduced her to Lisette Lee, the “Pot Princess” in question.

The story of what happened over the next few years was first revealed in a 2012 Rolling Stone story, “The Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills.” That was the first time many of us were introduced to Cady, who was Lee’s unlikely friend. When we did our story on Cady I was somewhat sympathetic to her, because in five decades I can count a few times when I’ve done things despite my suspicions because I wanted to believe those suspicions were off base. Wanting to believe can be a real hazard.

Reading Cady’s own written version in “Smoke,” I was less sympathetic, and that might be a compliment to her. Cady tells us what happened, what she did, without much effort to justify it. It’s a gutsy move. It’s also the most accountable way to tell a story.

The book is a fast read, reveals much that you didn’t know from the earlier stories and could be the last we ever hear of this tale, unless Lee starts talking or there is a movie. I don’t know about Lee, but the movie is a real possibility.

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