A new study out of Temple University has shown that teenagers don't actually need peer pressure to do dumb shit. In fact, the mere presence of peers makes teens act in ways they otherwise would not. These peers were not saying anything, doing anything, truly, the peers in the experiment were not even visible to the experimental subject.
Anyone who actually remembers being a teenager will not find this study surprising. I did a number of very stupid things with friends with absolutely no goading on their parts. And what I hope this study helps people understand is that those god-awful, ridiculous, absolutely pointless Above the Influence PSA's that litter television and print DO NOTHING. They are addressing an imaginary problem!
I was asked if I wanted to smoke pot on precisely two occasions in my high school career. Both times, it was done in a friendly, social manner. This person was inviting me in as a show of friendship. There was no pressure. Never in the HISTORY OF TIME has the line "All the cool kids are doing it" been uttered by anyone but stand-up comics. Above the Influence fails for the same reason that Nancy Reagan and her retarded Just Say No campaign failed: it imagines an American child that doesn't exist.
P.S. The Just Say No campaign reached a point of hilarity by the mid 1990's. I have come across urinal cake holders with "Winners Don't Do Drugs" printed on them. I really don't know what demographic they were hoping to reach with that one.