Marijuana Johnson, a stoner rock band with a deep emphasis on grooving riffs and good times, is set to self-release their Gem City Kush full-length on January 15. 

Gem City Kush was recorded by Shaun O’Shaughnessy at Encore Studio in the band’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, and is sure to appeal to fans of Sleep, Boris, ZZ Top, and Black Sabbath.

Gem City Kush is unique because we gave ourselves the room to tap into musical influences that we all love, even if they don’t fit in the normal stoner rock mold,” says bassist Matt Clark. “Our hometown of Dayton, Ohio, is well-known as the funk capital of the world, and we tried to blend some of that sound into this album.”

“This record has kind of a ‘back for the first time’ mentality. We put our first full-length record out so long ago and had some lineup changes, but we got better and started writing the kind of songs we always wanted,” says drummer Elliott Harrell. “Marijuana Johnson have always seen ourselves as kind of a crossover band. We’re just three, punk rock dudes dipping into our love for bands like ZZ Top, Motörhead, Sabbath, as well as ’90s/current heavy stoner shit like Sleep, Bongzilla, and Boris. This record is our best attempt so far at melding those styles into one cohesive sound.”

While the band has gone through various line-up changes over the years, the current three-piece lineup of guitarist/vocalist Ashley Ashbrook (ex-Slur), Elliott Harrell, and Matt Clark (ex-New Regrets) finds the band at its heaviest and most musically diverse point. 

The band previously released 2010’s full-length Green Hit and a handful of EPs, including the 2020 compilation of older and unreleased material, B.Hawkwind.  The band has shared the stage with notable acts such as Truckfighters, Toxic Holocaust, Murphy’s Law, LoPan, and Toke.

Follow Marijuana Johnson on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Tim Anderl is an American journalist from Dayton, Ohio, whose work has been published in Alternative Press, Strength Skateboarding Magazine, and Substream Music Press. He was previously the web editor of and is currently the editor of, a host of Sound Check Chat Podcast, and a contributing writer for New Noise Magazine, Ghettoblaster Magazine and Dayton City Paper.

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