The current prohibition of drugs, which attempts to cut the production, supply, and possession of many drugs, has failed in its main objective: to reach a drug-free world. As well, prohibition has had counteractive effects such as the promotion of prejudices, social rejection, and stigma against the people who use illegal drugs or people who have problematic drug use, because legality seems to be a relevant condition for accepting and rejecting certain behaviors (including drug use).
One of the main issues that people who use illegal drugs or have a problematic drug use face is social and structural stigma. Social stigma promotes negative attitudes and -usually- false beliefs about a specific group of people which can lead to discrimination, judging, isolating excluding, and stereotyping. On the other hand, structural stigma through the design of social services and drug policy endures barriers for an adequate drug-treatment for people who have problematic drug use and seek treatment, perpetuates social stigma from people who offer health services, and boosts punitive measures for people who use drugs. Moreover, stigma represents an obstacle for people who use drugs or attempts to recover from problematic drug use for social opportunities -such as the denial of housing or employment- and rights -such as accurate information about drugs and access to evidence-based drug treatment.
A way to stop perpetuating stigma is through language. Language reproduces and shapes social identities and establishes social facts about drugs and people who use them. For this reason, one of the main goals of Fairtrade Coke is to break with language that stereotypes and judges people who use drugs by promoting language that focuses on the people rather than in a specific behavior and sharing evidence-based information about drugs, drug use, drug treatment and by giving voice to the people who use drugs.