The “branded” heroin discovered in the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Manhattan apartment, where he was found dead on Sunday, has the NYPD on high alert and the uninitiated learning about the drug-trade marketing tactic. Among the narcotics found at the scene were reportedly dozens of bags marked “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Hearts,” just two of the many varieties known to be circulating around New York City. On the local blog Jynxies Natural Habitat (tagline: “Dope Bags, Drug Branding, Brooklyn + Beyond”), users can submit anonymous reviews of the different bags they encounter. Three weeks ago, Hoffman’s Ace of Hearts received a 7.5 overall score.
“Best product I have come across in the neighborhood in a while!” wrote a reader from Brooklyn, who warned “I only sniff so I can’t comment on rush but otherwise … ” The person priced the drug at $100 for a bundle, or ten baggies, “a bit pricey … but a very consistent product nonetheless.” A commenter, disagreeing, added, “It was really powdery too and stuck to the bag. no bueno.”
In 2012, the blog’s proprietor, identifying as “female heroin user” and student of fine art Dequincey Jynxie, gave an interview to Vice about the review site. “I was always amused and excited by the branding,” she said. “I also wanted to keep tabs on the quality of the product, especially if something was particularly good, bad, or just dangerous, so the site could work as a form of harm reduction.”