The Marijuana Ladder (ML)


Author of Tool: 

James D. Slavet, L.A.R. Stein, Suzanne M. Colby, Nancy P. Barnett, Peter M. Monti, Charles Golembeske, Jr., and Rebecca Lebeau-Craven

Key references: 

Slavet, J., Stein, L. A. R., Colby, S., Barnett, N., Monti, P., Golembeske, C., & Lebeau-Craven, R. (2006). The Marijuana Ladder: Measuring motivation to change marijuana use in incarcerated adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 83, 42-48. PMCID: PMC2754131

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Marijuana Ladder (ML) was adapted from the the Contemplation Ladder (CL; Biener & Abrams, 1991) to measure motivation to change marijuana use among incarcerated youths. The Marijuana Ladder is a visual analog scale that consists of 10 rungs, each of which is accompanied by a associated statement such as “I enjoy using marijuana and have decided never to change it. I have no interest in changing the way that I use marijuana”. The ML instrument is relevant for incarcerated juveniles with no current access to marijuana.


The use of marijuana among incarcerated adolescents is well-documented. The Marijuana Ladder (ML) allows juvenile justice personnel and clinicians to assess and identify youths who are motivated to change their marijuana use. This brief and easily-administered tool allows treatment provides to study motivation to change and further inform their intervention approach and discharge planning.


Psychometric characteristics of the ML are given in Slavet et al. (2006).



Microsoft Office document iconMarijuana Ladder

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


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