Those who use Marijuana as medicine but live in non-medical states only have 3 options of obtaining Marijuana. All three options risk the quality of life and freedom of the user, because of the legalities surrounding Cannabis in such states. Each option also holds other risks; none of which anyone, whether they are sick or not, would enjoy facing.
Option #1: Buy from a local dealer.
If you are lucky enough to know someone who sells weed, normally you have to go to them to get it. Then you risk being caught transporting an illegal substance and having your medicine taken from you. Then you face criminal charges, which could include jail time and probation. Both of which will require the immediate cessation of any marijuana for medical use. For those who use Marijuana as medicine, there is not much worse than that kind of hell.
You also risk the dealer not having Marijuana of a medical quality. If you do not know any other dealers, there really isn't much of a choice when you are out of medicine. Being desperate because of medical reasons is an easy way to get ripped off.
If you don't know someone who is a dealer, or your normal dealer is out, then you have to go to the streets to find it. This is where the level of risk rises greatly. Now you are risking not only your freedom, but your life as well. A lot of times drugs and violence come hand in hand, and you never know if this dealer is a member of a gang, strung out on harder drugs and paranoid, or even if he has laced your bag. With that fear, you are left wondering what the hell you are smoking exactly.
Option #2: Buy from out of state.
This risks all of the above, just on a grander scale. With this option, you start dealing with the federal government. You also start dealing with larger quantity because you cannot make multiple trips as frequently. After a certain amount, possession becomes a felony and in some states carries a mandatory minimum sentence.
Option #3: Grow your own.
This option is the most affordable, and convenient. Other than having to care for plants there isn't much involved. But you risk being raided for cultivation, which is usually a felony, and then you are in the hell of having to deal with the judicial system.
Now throw a kid or two in the mix and the risks skyrocket....
In Medical states patients have the option of growing their own, buying from a collective, or buying from a co-op/dispensary. All of these options are legal at the State level, and are safe with practically no risk of violence or jail.
I've been asked, "If you are risking so much why not move to a Medical state?" The only answer is... How? I am on a fixed income because of a physical disability. Picking up and changing residences takes a lot of money and work. When a person can barely afford to procure their medicine when they need it, how on earth is a person supposed to pick up and move? I have found this reason is very common with many who live in non-Medical states.
The laws surrounding Marijuana in Non-Medical states make good citizens into criminals. Those who benefit from Marijuana as medicine are left with really no other choice but to break the law. The alternatives are more detrimental not only to the patient, but to the families and friends of those patients (especially their children), than their Cannabis consumption and that is why so many are willing to risk everything else...
They risk life and freedom just for the teensiest bit of relief and normality in their lives.