Martin Valuet
The expression "War on drugs" refers to a Nixon policy that begun 1969: to struggle drug reselling and abuse,
Government created a "Drugs Enforcement Administration". Due to a new point of view of the Obama
Administration about drugs, the so-called "War on drugs" is since 2009 over.
1- VOCABULARY (About 50 words)
To snort cocaine: sniffer de la cocaïne
A needle : une auguille
A syringe : une seringue
A designer drug : une drogue de synthèse
To become commonplace : se banaliser
The spreading use of crack : la banalisation du crack
A drug ring, a drug cartel : un réseau de trafiquants
A plague, a curse, a scourge : un fléau
A mule : un passeur, une mule
A drug kingpin : un baron de la drogue
A drug pusher, a drug peddler : un dealer
Drug-related crime : la criminalité due à la drogue
An awareness-raising campaign : une campagne de
To smuggle drugs into a country : faire entrer de la
drogue dans un pays
The US-Government experimented a Prohibition policy about alcohol betwenen 1919 and 1933, also known as
"The Noble Experiment". It as failed and enforced trafficking-activities, such as illegal bootlegging, and public
violence. Increasingly impopular, the experiment was stopped after the beginning of the Great Depression.
Drugs doesn't mean the same thing in English and in French. Even if English drugs can be French "drogues",
drugs can be bought in every French "droguerie": medicines and beauty products.
A reclassification experiment on cannbis has been led by the British Government between 1971 and 2009:
even it it remained illegal, the fines were lighter and possession wasn't punished by arrest. This reclassification
helped Police to fight against harder drugs, but suffered critics from the International Narcotics Control Board
(INCB), that argued of the encouraging effect of this measure for drug-producers.
To go into rehab : entreprendre une cure de
A causal / heavy user : un consommateur occasionnel /
gros consommateur
To be addicted to sth : être accro à qqch
To need a fix : avoir besoin d'une dose
To experiment with heroin : essayer l'héroïne
Dependency on sth : la dépendance à qqch
To be high / spaced out: planer, être défoncé
A joint, a reefer : un joint
To be hooked on cocaine : être accro à la cocaïne
To make people aware of sth : faire de la prévention
To seek treatment : demander à être soigné
The pros and cons : le pour et le contre
To crave sth : avoir un besoin maladif de qqch
To kick the habit : décrocher
Detoxification / detoxication : désintoxication
To be in detox : être en cure de désintoxication
To go cold turkey : arrêter la drogue d'un seul coup / être
en manque
To phase sth out: éliminer qqch progressivement
To relapse : rechuter
Withdraxal symptoms : les symptômes de l'état de
The drug czar / the drug tsar (US) : le responsable de la
lutte contre la drogue.
To clamp down, to crack down on drug abuse : réprimer
la consommation de drogues
A fine : une amende
To fine db: condamner qqn à une amende
The foreground : le premier plan
Intricacies : la complexité
L'exemple de la Prohibition a montré que la répression profite surtout aux organisations criminelles.
To notice : constater
Travailliste : Labour
The example of Prohibition has shown that repression mostly benefits (no preposition) organized crime.
Gathering : réunion
Drafted / written out: rédigé
La toxicomanie est un fléau qui touche principalement les personnes instables psychologiquement.
Opinion poll : sondage d'opinion
To pursue : poursuivre, pourchasser, rechercher
Drug addiction is a scourge that mainly affects psychologically instable people.
To supersede : remplacer
Proceedings : déroulement, actes (d'une réunion)
3- TRANSLATION REMARKS (3 from French to English, 3 from English to French)
The Obama Administration has expressed its desire in favor of treatment over punishment when it comes to
drug abuse.
L'administration Obama a exprimé son désir de privilégier le traitement au détriment de la répression en ce qui
concerne la drogue.
A kilo of cocaine used to sell for up to $290,000 on the streets of the United States – enough to enough to buy
a Rolls-Royce car.
Un kilo d'héroïne se vendait jusqu'à 290.000 dollars dans la rue aux Etats-Unis, de quoi acheter une RollsRoyce.
For many people, the debate about drugs is a moral one, akin to debates about allowing divorce, say, or
Pour beaucoup de gens, le débat sur les drogues est un débat moral, analogue aux débats sur la légalisation du
divorce ou de l'avortement, par exemple.
Que pourrait-on faire de plus pour dissuader les jeunes de prendre des drogues dures ?
What more could be done to deter young people from using hard drugs ?
Problematics (20 words or so) :
How far has the war on drugs revealed inefficent ? Which new approaches of the problem can be found ?
PART 1 : Assessment : how does drugs-trafficking in the worlds looks like after 40 years of war ?
Argument 1 : Growth of the consumption in Europe and North America ; problems with the control into
the Schengen area.
Example 1 : Growth of the consumer's numbers in the US ; reclassification of cannabis in a class B drug
in the UK (2009) ; massive cannabis seizures in France (30.5 t in 2011).
Argument 2 : Loss of efficiency of armed war in Central America.
Example 2 : Failure of the Condor operation in Mexico (1975-78) : main dealers remain out of control, as
well as their plantations.
PART 2 : Economic and human costs of the war.
Argument 1 : Tremendous costs for little results, in a crisis time : will people continue to pay ?
Example 1 : War on drugs costs 16G$ a year, only for the US.
Argument 2 : War means violence. Even if developed countries don't suffer from this side of the war,
Central America is the theater of many military operations.
Example 2 : Mexican population was very critical about the 50,000 deaths due to the Mexican Drug War,
under the presidency of Felipe Calderon (2006-2012).
PART 3 : Seeking new ways to win the war.
Argument 1 : « Prevention, education and healthcare » Gautemala President Molina : encourage minor
producers to live on legal activities.
Example 1 : Development of biofuels in Brazil and Chile : creation of profitable perspectives for poor
Argument 2 : Modification of the legal status : has every drug got to be fought ? Are people responsible
enough to protect themselves against drugs ?
Example 2 : Successful experimentation on cannabis in the UK (1971-2009) ; useless awareness-raising
campaigns in the schools.
Conclusion : It appears that the war on drugs could be won two ways : international supervision and
joint management of national initiatives (according to the British example, that failed because of
isolation) ; extended education of the population, in both producing and consumer countries.